In 2007 Disney came out with a movie called Meet the Robinsons. I thought it was a rather random movie the first time I watched it. I couldn’t figure out what was going on at all. But afterwards I got to thinking about it and realized something interesting.
Did you know that Meet the Robinsons has a scriptural foundation to the storyline? While I seriously doubt that Disney did it on purpose, there is definitely a thread of truth, God’s truth, running through the movie.
The main character has a motto that is repeated throughout the movie. It’s simply this: “Keep moving forward.” It’s not a new revelation. Paul said it in his letter to the Philippians.
Philippians 3: 13-16 says : Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you; however, let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained.
Paul is saying to us “press on,” or “keep moving forward!” He also tells us to forget what lies behind.
There are two ways that we can get stuck in the past. The first is with regret. God doesn’t want us to keep looking over our shoulder, focusing on our past, our mistakes, our disappointments. We all have those experiences and we can learn from them. But the point is to learn and then move forward. We need to live with our backs turned on our past. We can’t change it; we can only apply what we’ve learned and move on. If we stand still, constantly looking at where we’ve been then all the lessons we learned through those difficult times are wasted. We don’t gain from our past experiences unless we have an opportunity to make use of what we learned. We cannot do that if we stand still, looking back down the road we’ve already traveled. We also can’t move forward effectively if we are looking over our shoulder.
The second way we can get stuck in the past is to become too nostalgic. Maybe we are going though a tough time today and long for times past when things were easier. Getting caught up in daydreaming and wishing we could return to a simpler time as a way of escaping what we are experiencing in our lives today isn’t our best road either. The fact is, it probably wasn’t as simple as we think it was. Life has a odd way of twisting the truth as we get farther from it.
Moving backwards will never bring us closer to God. There’s no other choice than forward if we want to continue to grow. Looking back and regretting our past won’t help us and yearning for some illusion of a time when life was easier won’t help us either.
We can only profit from our past when we keep moving forward!