Thursday, January 05, 2006

Don't Forget To Back Up!

Don't Forget To Back Up!

I'm not good at backing up my van. Okay, I admit it! I try to use my mirrors, and I move my head around to visualize things, but I'm still awkward at maneuvering the car in reverse. There are some parking lots and parking garages that do not allow enough wiggle room, let alone parking room. I'm a novice.

On the other hand, I've noticed our new puppy enjoys going in reverse as much as she enjoys moving forward. All that's missing is the back-up horn blaring a warning: "Watch out for Jazzy, she's backing up!" She doesn't even look where she is going; no mirrors to consult. She just reverses her footsteps in the same locations as when she was moving forward. It works. She's a pro!

I'm programmed to advance, not retreat; to progress, not regress. Most of my leadership training focused on one point: moving forward. We studied goal setting, becoming a visionary, striving for success, you name it. But nothing was ever said about the need to go in reverse every once in a while.

I've had one such reversal in my life this week. I can see where it will be good for me. Reversals cause me to reflect and to grow. They cause me to evaluate what is really important in my life. They keep me humble and grounded. Success without trials only produces empty victory, full of shallow egotism. Real growth happens when life says, "Go back. See what you missed. Learn from it." Backing up allows us to see things in the proper perspective.

Sometimes the object we must go back to is our "first love." Revelation refers to the church that lost her first love. They were challenged to return; to back up and find where they lost it. When I lose something, I have to retrace my steps, and remember what I was doing when I last had "it." As this New Year begins, let's make a commitment to remember our First Love (Jesus), and to accept reversals as they happen, knowing they will conform us into His image.

"Don't forget to back up" is not just a motto for your computer, but your life!

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