Mike’s Musings ….

“Look Ahead, Not Behind”

   There is a reason the Lord said, “Remember Lot’s wife.” (Luke 17:32) If you will restudy the story, (Genesis 19), you will note God said, “Escape for thy life, look not behind thee …” (vs 17) “But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.” (vs. 26) The lesson is to keep your eye on the goal and not look back toward past accomplishments or failures (Philippians 3:13-14).

   Recently, a preacher friend and I enjoyed a day of visiting and sharing stories as preachers do. Since he has preached meetings in my home area of Ohio, he has developed a kindred love for those brethren as I have. But that conversation led to talking about places where the Lord’s church was and now isn’t. Sad but true!

   Both of us being “amateur restoration historians,” we’ve familiarized ourselves with a number of such places and recently have added to that growing list. Almost simultaneously we asked, “Why is this happening?” Different answers came -- pandemic, economics, deaths, unemployment, etc. Then he offered the best reason of all: “Folks are looking in the rear-view mirror instead of through the windshield.” Yep, that will lead to crashes every time!

   We can’t take away the reality of those “common” reasons we listed, but neither can we ignore the “looking forward” observation of this brother! Isn’t it interesting that the communities where these congregations once existed are still there with people living in them, but the Lord’s church is gone? Doesn’t anyone care about those souls?!

   I muse on what will eventually happen to these now abandoned places where God’s children once worshipped with reverence and godly fear; where singing, preaching, and praying once echoed for days within those old walls, and the pews were mostly filled with saints. Worse, what becomes of the once esteemed reputation of faithfulness from the brethren comprising that local work? And even more impactful is the question, “What does Christ think of such a loss?”

   I muse as well on the present necessity to work toward avoiding such a happening! Though the congregation may be small numerically, it need never be small SPIRITUALLY. We all must grow (2 Peter 3:18) but do so by looking through the windshield instead of the rear-view mirror!