It’s Called Your Past for a Reason

Photo By; katielips (Creative Commons)

Photo By; katielips (Creative Commons)

I remember driving down the street to the first house we lived in when we moved here. It had been maybe 6 years since I had seen the house or really driven anywhere near it but in that moment I needed to connect with a part of my past. It had been far too long. It was a long drive but it was worth it. You could call this an attempt to get at something familiar before I embarked on what I believed would be the biggest change in my life and to that point – it was. However,  I thought it would be the door to open up the whole world to me; a passage to another dimension – well, not literally but going from nearly not graduating high school to leaving for Parris Island in less than forty eight hours – I think another dimension really captures the heart of what I was feeling.

I sat there for nearly a half an hour. Looking back it is a good thing no one noticed because I guess technically I was casing the house. I had no plans to enter but that is what I was doing. Only I was casing its past and not its present. I looked at the palm tree in the front yard. I don’t know what kind it was but it was one that does not get very tall. A short palm perhaps – either that or we did something very wrong when we planted it. I remember trying to help my dad dig the hole but ended up watching him do most of the work. I guess it was hot that day and I was probably whining to get in the pool already – it was this house that taught me to hate swimming pools and I never want another.

I stared at what used to be my bedroom window, corner of the house on the left. The room where I first really started to discover the kind of music I liked. I was already a KISS fan but it was here that I discovered Van Halen, RATT , Huey Lewis and the News and Journey, little did I know the flood gates that would open in the next couple years. It was 1982 I think and all sorts of stuff was pouring onto the street of Los Angeles then and would find its way into my welcoming ears in the not too distant future.

I still love Rock n’ Roll.

I thought about how, in that room, my imagination was captured by words and the ideas of writing. I read the books – I don’t know who wrote them – chronicling the adventures of Encyclopedia Brown – Kid detective. Oh, how I wanted to be a detective. Following Encyclopedia’s lead I made a sign and put it in my window that read “No Case too big, No case too small.” I did not have any customers – you could not see the sign unless you were five or so feet away  and I never told anyone I was detective – so, there’s that. I first read The Phantom Tollbooth in that room and marveled at how the author used the ideas of basic writing skills as puns – I learned what those were then too – and I began to see the language in a different way, a new and surprisingly usable way. I started to see how I could use it to say what I wanted it to say.

It was also from this room that I learned that using the language in the right way at the right time – at least the right time for me – could make people laugh. I still remember the first time I tried it in a class when I said “I have a crack” while being taught about the cracks in the ocean floor. Was it inappropriate? Yes. What is juvenile? Yeah, but I was in sixth grade – what d’you expect?

If I never step on another stage to perform comedy I will never forget what I learned in that room (or what I learned here).

After I left, I drove around a bit trying to remember things about the neighborhood and friends that I had back then but the memories faded the further I got from the house. The anticipation of a new exciting life waiting over the proverbial horizon was calling. I had driven there to reminisce as much as say goodbye. Goodbye to a childhood that had not been what I would have chosen. A childhood forever marred by the sins of my father; a childhood that was marked by multiple moves before I was ten, divorce and break up of my family unit. I wanted to turn the page on that life and embark on something unlike anything I had known.

Today, I find myself wanting desperately to get back there, back to that house, back to that room, back to those times. I want to go…


The thing is, I can’t go back any more than I could change anything were I able.

I guess my point is, and I have said this before in different ways – that our past is there and it is part of who we are. It’s what made us what we are but it does not define us or force us to be what were or remain where we are.

The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

If you were not looking close enough you may have missed it. Did you? Did you see it?

Paul said if you’re in Christ you’re a NEW creature and just in case you missed it the first time he threw it in there again just for good measure at the end “…behold, ALL things are become NEW

God knows we’re going to hold too tightly sometimes to our pasts but we DON’T HAVE TO.

You are not that girl any more or that guy – so stop living like you are.

What do you need to let go of from your past? Hurts, disappointments, addictions, abuses? Whatever it is – it’s time to let ‘em go. Leave me a comment and we can talk about it.


Forgave my parents a long time because I figured they’d done all that’s right far as they’re concerned. Jesus has done for me what I could never do for myself: saved me, and gave me hope. But, reflecting on the past, I am left to wonder why I am totally unsociable and hardly build relationships. I fear so much to hurt people I literally stay away from them. I tuck my hurts in writing. Regardless, I tend to blame my parents (especially, dad) for whatever’s happened to my social life. Because I got shouted down often and was taught to be overly dependent on…them. Here’s a good way to breath easy. Really, it’s a sober message. Thanks, Mick.

    Glad you liked it – I left you a note on the FB page check it out. Hope you find your way out of your shell. Let meknow if I can be of any help to you.

Michael, I have been recently working through a book called, “When the Past is Present” because sometimes we separate ourselves from our past without really letting go of it, we kind of just shove it down and live the way we think our Christian life should be. What happens is, when we have not truly dealt with the past, it has a way of dealing with us and sometimes affecting the way we deal with others. Because the old scripts someone else held impacted my life so critically, I am choosing to go back, not to stay, but to bring healing to the broken parts of me so that I can be whole for my children if I ever come to a place like my dad was in two years ago. I want to know that I am dealing with them as who they are instead of as spectres in my past.

We don’t know what our last days will bring. We do know that the Bible talk about a pressing on and about places where we do the things we would rather not do. Our faith is based on a God who does create new in us, but it doesn’t pretend to be about perfect people. The first part of what scribe05 (above) says is true of me as well, I tend to shy away from people and feel anxious around them. And yet, I have experience to know that even in that weakness God has the power to show.

I can’t change the past, but I can come to understand the scripts from the past that I have allowed to govern my life for so long. I don’t believe salvation is a one time thing that you have to get right or you have failed to have enough faith. I think it is a process of becoming that we open ourselves to have begun in us when we let God know we realize we can do it alone. For me, I know my life is here today because of God’s intervening over and over and over.

Maybe if the past isn’t letting go, there is something God has to teach us there. Do we have the right to tell God where and how to teach us in our lives. It was like tonight at a meeting I was at. What I had to say — my ideas — were definitely shot down. Do I then decide that what I had to say had no validity or do I just accept that I also need to listen to find out why I feel so much unrest about the way it happened. I am choosing to believe God is in what is happening and I am going to live with this unrest and look deeper into the materials and my heart trusting God is going to help me gain understanding from what happened.

Sorry this is so long a comment but I am just concerned when we set the past up as something to be gotten past without dealing with the residuals. God knows what God is doing, if it is in you, God might just have something God wants you to hear.

    Hey, First thanks for stopping by and commenting – I appreciate that you took the time. The length ? Please – I love dialogue. You make some great points and I must have presented my position incorrectly – please don’t misunderstand – in no way am I saying that we can or should deal with our past flippantly or not at all. Ignoring it will not make it go away any more than being forgiven by God for our sins absolves us from earthly consequences. I think that is one of the reasons Romans 8:28 is so important to remember “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” God can use our biggest most egregious mistakes for HIS glory but we have to be willing to allow him to work in and through us. Otherwise, we’re still trying to maintain control. I mention in the post the “sins of my father” now, I have forgiven him, God’s wiling to forgive him the rest is up to him but I cannot escape how they effected my growing up. I can only learn from it. Now, those were not great times for me or my family but God id using those experiences for me so I am unbelievably aware of how I am NOT going to do things…”all things…”working together. I hope that clears up what I was trying to say. If not please let me know and I’ll try again. And please, if I can do anything for you please let me know.

      Not so sure it was a misunderstanding as much as a commenting further. My father is gone. I get to look forward to the time in heaven where we will be able to face each other and know as w are known by God. In life, my father had some things unresolved that affected me so that my experience of our family was different then my brothers and my sisters. The impact was great and God is still healing me from the residual as the new knowledge rearranges my self concept in such an incredible way. Only, I had lived my life by the old self concept for over 50 years and so had created a closed off insulated world. It is like a person who had been blind or deaf from birth and then gets their sight or hearing. It isn’t always an easy adjustment. The “sins of my father” – a wonderful man who reached many for the Lord and cared for many hurting children is that he had held on to a resentment of his mother but lived as if the past was buried in the blood so never could deal with it. Instead, he saw her in his daughter and treated that daughter differently enough to be crazymaking. in its confusion.

      I always loved and will love my day. I believe that he is now where he understands. I just am left with a bit of a wariness of God as Father since my dad was my pastor for much of my life so how he dealt with me got mixed up with my image of God.

      OK, I see it was my bad, I misunderstood your original comment – my apologies. The issues I have with my dad don’t come to the level your did but I understand the “wariness” you feel because it is hard to relate to a “Heavenly” father without associating him with what we know as our earthly dads. I am sorry your dad did not know how to relate to you in a more beneficial way for both your sakes but it sounds like you’ve been able to forgive him and that’s good – for you. Try to remember that your dad was a human and as such sinful. God is not and will never hurt you or abandon you. He loves you – all of us, really – more than we can fully understand this side of Heaven. But as you said there is a day coming when you’ll be able to face your father and see him as God sees him. How he sees us all.

      Thanks again for stopping by. Please come back anytime and know that I will help in any way I can should you have need.

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