I filled the bowl, and hissed at him, "Now go back to sleep!" and went back to bed myself. When the alarm went off at 6am, Bill got up, made coffee, let the dog out. I awoke to the smell of the coffee. The day had begun. I came out to the kitchen, glared at the dog but he paid no attention to me. He was sleeping on the couch next to the twinkling tree.
That clanging sound in the middle of the night jarred me awake. I certainly wasn't expecting a literal wake up call. It just happened that Harry couldn't wait a moment longer for something to drink. And sometimes that's how life is. What happens, happens- regardless of whether you were ready for it or happy to see "it" arrive.
But then there are other things that arrive, or come back into your life because you go back and get them yourself. It can be an old way of comforting yourself, or an old way of thinking, or an old way of coping.
When that "old you" returns to the scene and wants to stir up trouble, you do not have to comply. You do not have to serve the "old you" just because it makes a loud noise and begs for your immediate attention.
Whether its an old habit of worrying, or the compulsion to drink again, or the temptation to return to an old relationship that never was good- these are all things that come from the past, and they can simply stay there where they belong. You have ended contact with the junk of the past, remember? Do not open the door to these things.
Bear with me if I sound vehement, but I'm thinking of someone who I care about, and this person is dallying with the past. We have talked about this together. I shared how I myself know the dallying dance- because I've done it. I know how I can easily forget that " if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new" 2 Cor. 5:17.
And if it's a new life, there are new markers and sign posts that will help you know the way to go. God's Word is full of these helpful indicators to know how to go forward. Confirming peace and clarity of thinking, the counsel of wise, godly friends, the accountability of a friend who knows you well and will not let you lie to yourself or her- these are some indicators to help you go the right way. And when you head down the road that does not contain the junk of your past, be thankful for these clear markers to point the way.
"The new markers are there like a signpost to say 'The road you once traveled on has been permanently closed. Ahead is your new road and you must follow it until you come to the next marker' ," Don Piper writes in Heaven is Real.
If that road you once traveled on is permanently closed, it does not mean you may not long for it, at times. The familiarity of the past is soothing even if it is lethal. Even the way you once knew yourself, in the past, just feels better than looking into the mirror now and seeing someone who is "becoming" and growing, even if she has not yet arrived. It's unsettling to be growing and changing and having to get to know this new you.
I don't always know what I'm about to step into, what season of life I really am in, and if I am strong enough to face or enjoy what's next. But I do know that I want to go forward, onward, higher, and farther. And I can't do that if I'm trying to get back to the place where the sign says, "Road permanently closed". I don't want to stand there looking at that sign and weep over it.
I should look at that sign of "Road closed" and with a sigh of relief, turn and go forward on the road that God has for me.
It's a road that however risky it is, is safe for me to travel.