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Yesterday: Are We Stuck In The Past, Neglecting Who We Are Becoming In The Present?

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” – Dr. Seuss

Yesterday seems like such a beautiful thing when I sit back and reflect on my life…so many beautiful memories, faces, moments, and feelings that are lost like tears in rain. One of my greatest flaws is getting lost in yesterday, all while today is running past me at the speed of light. Maybe that’s the curse of being a dreamer – imagining a beautiful future, but always comparing it to the past.

I was recently going through some pictures from over a decade ago on my laptop when my heart started to ache. It seemed that my soul longed to return to those moments, rather than be in the present moment. Whether it was pictures of my teenage grunge band, friends in college, or moments captured in Los Angeles, my eyes wanted to cry with longing, not with joy. What a sad state of affairs, to which I must admit that I find myself in such a state more often than not.

As I sit here writing, I’m enjoying a cup of dark roast coffee, listening to one of my favorite bands (The Killers), and enjoying this moment. I’m here. I’m not there. I’m not then. I’m not somewhere I’m not. No. I’m here and I’m glad to say that I’m enjoying this thing called the present.

As I sip the coffee, I think about all the coffee dates Beth and I have been on in the past 7 years. I think of the smell of coffee shops in college. I think of good books I’ve read, coffee dates that didn’t work out, and early mornings when I was working at Starbucks. Memories are tied to so many experiences, which can be incredibly beautiful. However, I’m beginning to learn that memories are not more important than who I am becoming today. They are gone forever; today and tomorrow are waiting to be created.

“It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.” – Lewis Carroll, Alice In Wonderland

Erwin McManus has left an eternal mark on me through his simple, yet often neglected thought: we are creating the future through the choices we make today.

I’m not who I was yesterday and thank God for that. It’s easy to look back on yesterday with nostalgia, yet forget the heartache and pain that accompanied those years. It’s easier to look back on what was rather than making difficult choices to create what will be. It’s easier to be stuck in a moment from yesterday than moving towards an unknown future.

Yet, where’s the fun in that?

We were created in the image of the Grand Creator, not the Grand Regretfully-Minded, nor the Grand Nostalgia-Imprisoned. When God gave humanity the task of caring for creation, He was inviting us into the story. We have been invited to create, to imagine, and to dream of what has yet to exist.

Maybe you, like me, tend to get lost in yesterday. If that’s the case, I invite you to join me in creating something new. It starts here. It starts now. It starts with an act that is intentional.

You become who you create. Who will you choose to become?

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