By Mary Newkirk
I read that phrase this morning and it was one of those, “oh, yeah” moments. The writer shared about a difficult journey through the wilderness, only to stand on a peak and view what they had trekked through and were in awe of the beautiful view. He said “Life is very much like this. It is lived forward and understood backwards.” and I realized that I HAVE lived my life that way.
In my “past middle years” stage of life, I find one of my favorite movie characters is Dori, the blue fish in “Finding Nemo”…Dori is a likable, forgetful sort, so every interaction is brand new and such an adventure, even if she just met someone or had this conversation a moment ago. OK, I’m not quite that bad yet, but Steve and I are finding that yes, we could, indeed, hide our own Easter Eggs! Anyway, Dori’s theme song is “Just keep swimmin’, Just keep swimmin'”. If she had feet, she’d be telling herself, “OK, just put one foot in front of the other and keep going.” Sometimes we must tell ourselves, or our loved ones that, right? We have no idea of what’s around the corner; of how this current circumstance will work itself out; of why we feel so in the wilderness, alone, without God or anyone else! So we “just keep swimmin'”. And one day, we’ve reached the summit and we can turn around and look at the wilderness we have trekked through and the sun is shining and the air is pure and the scene below is actually beautiful because we now understand the way through and the “why” through.
There are many situations I have gone through that during the “going through”, I wondered the big “WHY?”. And later, sometimes YEARS later, I understood God’s purpose or the lesson or the reason for that journey. And really each time it happens still, I have to go through the “Why?” and “Are you there, God?” But He’s so faithful, why would I doubt? If I look at His faithful history with me, why do I even ask the “why” or the “are You there?” questions? But I do. And God walks me through this one, too. I have to remember His track record, I have to trust His ways. And thankfully, He remains patient with all my questions and doubts and reminds me to “just keep swimmin’…there’s something in this circumstance for you to see, just like the last one, and the ones before that.”
Aren’t you grateful that He doesn’t give up on our questions, our doubts, guiding us through our self-instigated circumstances? That He guides us to the summit and we can say, “Oh, that was why!” Or maybe it’s not even that we know the “why” but we can look at the journey and know it wasn’t wasted. Yes, life is mostly lived forward, and understood backward.