Posted by: everynation | May 2, 2007

Rear View Mirror

by Brent Garrard

garrards.jpgAs a skilled, conscientious driver (if I do say so myself) I am thankful for my rear-view mirror. It helps me to see if there is anything coming behind me when I am changing lanes. When I have made a quick stop it lets me know if someone behind me is about to eat my bumper for a snack. It allows me to know if anyone is following me or if the police are trying to escort me to my destination out of the kindness of their heart so I can get there even more quickly. If you are daring you may even use your mirror for other things related to grooming.

One thing I do know about driving (being a self proclaimed skillful driver) is that you cannot drive while only looking at the rear-view mirror. This will cause you much pain and destruction when you eventually run into a car ahead of you. In order for us to get somewhere safely we have to keep our eyes on the road in front of us, and be intently and alertly looking ahead. We have to know our destination and keep moving forward to get there in a timely manner.

Life is like that and the church has to be like that as well. In order for us to get to our destiny we have to keep our eyes on the road in front of us, and be intently and alertly looking ahead. The reason I am using this analogy is because of a meeting I just attended in Dallas, TX. After spending the last twenty four hours with Pastors from all over North America our main conclusion was that we needed to pursue and defend unity; unity in our relationships and in our churches. That was one of our destinations. Jesus longest recorded prayer is in John 17 and it is about unity so I know it is of utmost importance to God. We came to the conclusion that one of our greatest barriers to unity and achieving our destiny together was an unhealthy affinity with driving while looking solely at our rear-view mirror.

We know if we are only looking at the past in our own lives then we will never be successful in the current moments or the future. Paul said to forget what lies behind and press on towards the goal that is in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:12-14). This does not exclude legitimate reasons to look to the past. There are good reasons to do so, just like there are good skillful reasons to look in your rear-view mirror while driving. Much of the encouragement God tells us to seek out is in remembering His GREAT DEEDS and loving-kindness. Even the Lord’s Table is a time of remembrance where we look back at the incredible sacrifice God made for us on the cross.

Also in the area of legitimate reasons to look to the past is that there are things that we see in the past that need to be fixed or healed so we can move forward in a healthy manner. But once done we must refocus on the road ahead. Whatever it is that is holding you back from your purpose and destiny in Christ needs to be left behind. We need to get our eyes off of the things that are long gone and get our eyes on the road ahead. Then and only then can we be assured of using our rearview mirror for the right reasons. It will more than likely save you from a serious wreck.

Brent Garrard is an enthusiastic blogger and the senior pastor of In Focus Church in Evans, Georgia.



  1. Nice analogy Brent, although when I think about rear view mirrors, the thing that comes to my mind is your sister looking in hers 10 years ago and seeing Sterling and I crash into her. I saw her in Innsbruck last her, we had a good laugh about it.

    I’m looking forward, as always, to serving God and enjoying Him forever.

  2. Brent, I enjoyed your post. It contains a lot of truth that would make a great series. I look forward to seeing more. Thanks

  3. Thank you for such much-needed words of encouragement, Ptr. Brent. Wouldn’t it be great to move on, carry on, and keep on keeping on in the right direction? Wouldn’t it be nice to see people let go and forgive and be healed and move forward and upward in God’s plan for the work He’s called us to do? It encourages my family and me to see the great work that God’s done through our faithful missionaries all over the world.

    You are right about using our rearview mirror for the right reasons (remember if we must to learn, and learn well).

    God bless always.

  4. I have come out of a season where I so pressed that I lost touch with reality… God had to pull the proverbial hand-brake in my life just so that I could refocus on the car, my life, my family and our church… more importantly the love tank had to be filled by Jesus, I had lost touch with my saviour and Lord. The goals in my life are clear, the vision is still burning, the mission is beating aloud in my heart…. but I need to find Jesus in all of this again… To fall head over hills in love with Him again…

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