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dog-walking 750AT

No looking back with God 

Jane Clamp has been dog-walking, and reflecting on our walk through life.

I borrowed a dog recently. Well, two actually – glutton for punishment that I am. One is a frequent visitor, spending her little holiday sniffing around our garden; the other belongs to neighbours on a short break, our only duty to go for walks and keep an eye out.
It was as I followed her progress on such a walk, her head down, sniffing everything within reach, that I mused on her perspective. Only rarely did she lift her head to check where she was going to go next. From time to time she would look from side to side if something moved within her peripheral vision; but, most noticeably, she didn’t look back. She knew I was there, holding my end of her lead, so she didn’t bother checking. Her sole focus was exploring the ground under her feet and the borders of the path.
I don’t know about you, but I find it all too easy to look backwards. The past retains its grip sometimes, pulling us as surely as if we’re attached to a bungee rope. The thing is, having our focus on what’s behind can cause us to miss what’s here in the present, and for what?  What’s done is done. All we can ever do about the past is decide what our response is going to be.
Imagine that we walk along through life with a bag over our shoulder. At first, the bag is empty, light to carry, not affecting our journey at all. But as we continue, we encounter difficulties which are like stones being added to our load. With the bag beginning to groan, so do we, each step taking more effort and, before we know it, our focus is on the bag whose strap is digging in so painfully. Our legs buckle under the strain and all joy in the moment disappears.
Is there a way of returning to the carefree state we began in? Can we get back to enjoying the journey like my borrowed dogs can, safe and fearless on the end of my lead? What we’re asking is whether it’s possible to lose that heavy load we’re saddled with, and I believe the answer is yes.
Every time we forgive someone, we remove a stone from their bag. Every time we are forgiven, a weight lifts off us, too. Every argument we refuse to join, or battle we refuse to fight, keeps our bag light and our steps easy.
And all within the secure grasp of our Master.

Photo by Liudmila Luchkina on Unsplash

Jane Clamp author 640CFJane Clamp is the author of Too Soon, a devotional on the subject of miscarriage, published by SPCK in August 2018. A member of the Association of Christian Writers, she writes for local and national radio. In her spare time she is an interior designer and musician.

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