Friday, January 8, 2010

Don't Look Back



By the time Lot reached Zoar, the sun had risen over the land. Then the LORD rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah—from the LORD out of the heavens. Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, including all those living in the cities—and also the vegetation in the land. But Lot's wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.” - Genesis 19:26

Rough game.

This is the part of the Abraham story where the three angels come to Sodom (where Lot lives) to see if the city is worth saving. Before they reached the city Abraham got God to agree that if there are just ten decent folk in the city, the city would be spared.

Well… when the three angels arrived in Sodom the folk in the city nearly broke down Lot’s door trying to rape them…

Yuck.

(by the way… when folk bring up the Sodom and Gomorrah story as a reason why gay and lesbian folk are supposedly evil or whatever… I’m like really? Do all gay and lesbian folk you encounter try to rape you? Not likely… but that’s a whole different topic.)

So clearly the town wasn’t so fresh. Time to bounce.

The angels had to nearly drag Lot, his wife and his daughters out of there but they finally got them out. And when they got Lot and his people to a safe distance they told them to keep it movin’ and don’t look back.

But…his wife looked back.

Zap!

When we look past the theatrics this story, there is the beginning of a pattern that I have seen. There is a consistent message from God that we are to live in the present.

I started reading “The Power of Now” when I was doing the year long bible reading the last time and it is stories like Sodom and Gomorrah that made me put that book down half way through. It’s also a story like this that helped me realize how relevant this ancient text is still today.

Lot’s wife didn’t get arbitrarily zapped. She got zapped for looking back to a time past, to a life that was not good for her or her family, to a life that she desperately needed to get away from. But her heart remained attached to it.
Have you ever done that? Looked back at people, places or things and longed for them, focused on them, even reached out for them?

I know that I have.

When we look backward, it is impossible to see where we are going. Instead of moving forward to another place, a better place, we end up walking in circles, retracing our own footsteps, wondering why time has passed but our lives still look so strangely familiar.

We may not turn into a pillar of salt but that sure ain’t living.

3 comments:

  1. Cuz, I love this! I will definitely be following you on this one. JAB

    ReplyDelete
  2. Definitely. This is going to sound silly but when I was 23 I was so obsessed with what I was and what I had at 22, I got stuck. I think the whole year passed me by, as I lived in the past. It wasn't until I stopped looking back and began to deal with reality, the fact that time goes on with or without us, that I began to heal. They say most people spend most of their time in the past or in the future. I'm really trying to make it a point to live in the present...

    ReplyDelete

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