Friday, September 26, 2014

Going Forward

"But let's not do it. 
Going forward, let's not utter or write 
the superfluous, meaningless, 
ubiquitous phrase 'going forward'...."
The Guardian, "Mind Your Language"

A couple years ago, the phrase
"going forward" got voted Most Annoying.
Many comments were made concerning
the foolishness in saying those words.
Would anyone in their right mind really be 
talking of moving backwards,
they asked.
And while I agree that anything
overused gets old,
I don't agree that the antithesis 
of that phrase is going backwards.
I think the antithesis lies in standing still.

There are times, 
especially during transition seasons,
when we just aren't sure what 
everything is going to look like.
We know we can't go backwards,
but are we capable of going forward?
A wide range of emotions contribute
to our questioning.
Transitions periods are often preceded
by loss, anger, disappointment and failure.
Very often we just don't know what to do next.
And we will need time to sort it all out.

But at some point, God takes our hand
and asks us to walk with Him.
"Show me where to walk, God,"
David cried out in Psalm 143.

We don't always know where to place our foot,
but His grace comes along to give us strength.
He makes us brave again,
maybe even brave for the first time.
You are my God. 
May your gracious Spirit
lead me forward on firm footing.
Psalm 143:10

Going forward is as ancient 
as it is current.
It is not the meaningless insistence
of not going backwards.
It is the grace to stop standing still.
It is looking at mountains all around
and knowing that there is level ground
for our feet to walk.
It is the brave response
to His loving voice.
He wants to lead us forward.

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