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Photo by M Disdero 25/02/2007 – Wikimedia Commons

This past weekend I was blessed with the opportunity to run sound for Anita Gutschick from Women of the Bible during an event at our church. Anita is an extremely talented woman and if you are able to catch one of her performances I highly recommend it.

As the name implies, Anita portrays various women of the Bible during her theatrical presentations. Her shortest presentation, and perhaps her most powerful, is that of Lot’s wife.

If you read the Biblical narrative of Lot’s wife you’ll discover that the Bible doesn’t reveal much about her. What we do know is that as she looked back on the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah she was transformed into a pillar of salt because of her disobedience.

I hadn’t really considered why Lot’s wife looked back until Saturday. Was it just curiosity? Perhaps she had friends in the cities and she wondered what was happening to them. Or, was she longing for what was and suddenly fearful of what her future held in store?

We obviously don’t know why Lot’s wife looked back but I believe there is a powerful lesson in her story. What am I looking back to? As Anita suggested on Saturday, there are certainly moments in our lives that we should look back on with celebration and joy. Yet, there are contrasting moments that we look back on and wish things might have turned out differently. It’s the oft quoted “what ifs.” The what ifs can keep us up at night. In the worst case scenarios the “what ifs” keep us stuck in a place that ultimately isn’t where God wants us to live.

There is a song by the band Parachute that contains this line: I’m still  dancing alone with the way it was. The first time I heard it I felt a thud;  realizing how often I have been the one on that dance floor. Dancing alone isn’t nearly as gratifying as if you’re dancing with someone else. Actually, I don’t dance but you get the idea.

I’ve spent a lot of hours as Marty McFly from Back to the Future, wishing I had a Delorean to go back to and fix my mistakes. But, there’s no Delorean, no telephone booth, and no (insert your own time-traveling machine here). The good news is at the end of my mistakes, my regrets, and my failures is a redeeming God who loves me in spite of me. I often imagine Him whispering in my ear, “Dave, don’t look back. Keep running towards brilliant light. I’m with you. I’m cheering for you. I’ll never leave you or forsake you. I can redeem anything, even your biggest failures.”

If you’re dancing alone with the way it was, with what might have been, then perhaps you need to turn off that track and leave the floor of past regrets or nostalgia of better days. Look forward to a God that is never finished with you, no matter how far you think you may have fallen. Remember, pillars of salt can’t move. They stay immovable and stuck. So step forward. Even if it’s just one step. God will meet you there and walk with you the rest of the way.

Til next time,