I made it safely to Atlanta and had help all the way from the ramp of the plane to the parking lot where Stephanie’s car was located. Thanks to James, who has just been working at Harstfield-Jackson International Airport for two months, for his service. The day ended up being fairly exhausting and my water intake was lower than normal which can cause some problems, but I have been feeling good today.

Stephanie and McKenzie and I stopped by a local “Chipolte” for lunch and then she took me by the house they are in the process of purchasing. Their plan is to move within the next month. So this will be my final visit to their present home. I look forward to returning some time in the spring or summer to see their new home.

BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY… “Remember how the Lord your God has blessed you in everything that you have done. He has taken care of you as you wandered through this vast desert. He has been with you these forty years, and you have had everything you needed.  Deuteronomy 2:7

Today, I was listening to the speeches from the opening day for the Colorado Legislature. I enjoyed all of them and am proud of my colleagues that I served with while in the Colorado House that are now leading their respective chambers in the House and Senate.

Senate President Bill Cadman caught my attention by using as an outline for his speech, what was shared by the commencement speaker at his high school graduation. (I recall while serving with Senator Cadman in the House that I learned he was a student in high school at the same time that I was teacher in high school!) The Assistant Principal who delivered what is usually a speech more quickly forgotten than a Sunday sermon share something Senator Cadman remembered to this day. “Learn from the past, live in the present, plan for the future.”

I thought this was an easy to remember challenge for high school graduates and an important motto for life. I began to think about how important the first part of the challenge is and how what the Bible speaks to this and gives meaning to the present and inspires our future.

“Learn from the past…” I would quickly note that too many “live in the past” instead of “learning from the past.” When we live in the past we become stuck in the past and keeps us from living in the present and planning for the future.

To learn from the past we must remember the past and the lessons it has taught us. We find in the Old Testament (GNB) the word “remember” 201 times almost half of those in the books of Deuteronomy and Psalms. If you know those books of the Bible, that not be a surprise. In Deuteronomy Moses is recounting the law and the events of the past in order to  help God’s people live in the present and plan for the future. In the verse above Moses wanted God’s people to learn that the Lord can be trust and that He is faithful to provide what is needed, when it is needed.

What else did Moses want people to learn? “…remember today and never forget: the Lord is God in heaven and on earth. There is no other god.” (Deu. 4:39) God alone is to be trust and worshiped. He is our plumb line and north star. “…as long as you live you will remember the day you came out of Egypt, that place of suffering.” (Deu. 16:3) Don’t forget and your past and don’t return there. Learn how to live as free people, not slaves. Learn how it was to be treated as slaves, so you will treat others with honesty, dignity and respect.

When we looked at some key verses in Psalms we read,  “Remember that the Lord has chosen the righteous for his own…” (Psalm 4:3) Learn to live your life as those who are to honor God and reflect His character in the world. Plan your future knowing that the Lord is the One who determines your destiny and is working on your behalf. “Remember what the Holy One has done, and give him thanks!” (Psalm 30:4) Learning to be grateful in life will guide your life in the present and give confidence for the future.         “I will remember your great deeds, Lord; I will recall the wonders you did in the past.” (Psa 77:11) This is what often tempts people to live in the past. But the “deeds” of the Lord are not intended to be a matter of historic record but ongoing events in the lives of those who place their trust in Him. There is no greater incentive to live fully in the present and plan, “God-size” plans, for the future than to know the “great deeds and wonders” of the Lord are a present reality and a future promise.

How do we learn from the past so we can live in the present and plan for the future? We remember who the Lord is and what He has done in His faithful provision for those who place their trust in Him. If you need encouragement for today and fuel for your dreams for the future, learn from the past and remember and review the character and greatest of our God.