Monday, March 24, 2008

Don't look back

As the sun sets the day ends and you can never get it back!

I was lying in bed last night, feeling a little maudling, thinking about the past. The words of a few people over the years popped into my head. One was this phrase "God is more interested in who we are becoming than who we have been"

I like that phrase a lot, actually it probably explains my own aversion to amateur christian counseling. A friend once said to me "counseling is past focussed and negative whilst God is future focussed and positive"

You can't change the past and if the truth be known you can't really do much about the future, you can plan ahead but there are so many variables in our universe that nothing ever turns out as you predicted it would!

I remember reading CS Lewis's Screwtape Letter, the senior devil says to the junior devil something like "Whatever you do don't let the human live in the present, he can live in the past or in the future but if he lives in the present he is dangerous"

I guess I am fed up with half baked counseling culture, lets all curl up on a couch in the fetal position and get in touch with our past. Until we face the past we can't move on, I'm not to sure about that; move on, live with it, we're all damaged. 

In the bible there is the story of Lot's wife who looked back and was turned into a pillar of salt. Salt is a preserving agent and she was also rooted to that spot. We don't want the past to preserve us, petrify us and keep us rooted to the same spot. 

You can forgive past hurts; but whoever came up with that forgive and forget line? You can't forget the past you just have to form a better relationship with your memories.

Yes we have scars, they make us who we are. We need to learn from the past and in some ways the past does define who we are, but we can't live in the past. I don't believe that is where God wants us to live.

I'm more interested in who I am becoming than who I have been, I think God is to.

Maybe I have been watching to much "House"


Neal said...

As someone studying counselling, I justwanted to share that counselling is not so much about examing the past but the person. There are many theories used and yes some use the past to examine the client - thanks Freud - but most are designed to draw the client to their own solutions to their own issues or problems. Hope that helps.

Brian said...

Thanks neal, I wasn't totally knocking counseling. In fact I quite like it, give me a chance to talk about myself etc... If it helps with self awareness thats great and if it brings peace thats great to. I have seen it done badly over the years and I have noticed that a lot of people who become counsellors do so because they have issues themselves or have received good help. Although sometimes I feel they are working out their own need for help and desire for control onto others. What do you think? I just don't want to get stuck in the past or get palmed off on someone who did a counseling weekend at church and then feels they are an analyst. To many amateurs spoil it for the good well trained people.

Tim Carroll said...

This is written on the side of a bar in Belfast

'A nation that keeps an eye on the past is wise. A nation that keeps both eyes on the past is blind!'

its good to have a eye on our past, to know where we've went wrong.

in your initial blog it did sound like you were writing off the whole counselling profession, which would be ludicrous, but i understand what you said in the comment box

' someone who did a counseling weekend at church and then feels they are an analyst. To many amateurs spoil it for the good well trained people.'

was what you were trying to get at.

Tim Carroll said...

the whole western 'mummy made me wear pink socks to school once' culture is pretty annoying.

mimou said...

it's good to be reminded that God is more interested in who I'm becoming. it's good to understand we don't need to get stuck on the things that have passed!

Though, as someone who is studying history, I do think that unless we know the history we are likely to do the same mistakes again. =D but maybe that's a bit aside the topic! :)