“When people get on a bus, they don’t care where it’s been.” _Tony Cooper
Recently, at a minister’s training session I was a part of, Tony Cooper, Bishop for the Church of God in Pennsylvania, made the following statement: “When people get on a bus, they don’t care where it’s been.”
That statement really stood out to me in several ways.
One thing that is important, if you’re the bus driver (leader), is that people get on a bus because they think it is going where they want to go. So you will need to be very clear upfront where you’re taking the bus because if your expectations and the expectations of those getting on your bus are different you are going to have some very unhappy passengers.
But that is a story for another day.
What really stood out to me is how Bishop Cooper captured our relationship with the past.
He was not denigrating the past. The past happened and it matters. We can learn lessons from the past and we can treasure special memories from the past. But the past is…past. It’s over. Where you’re going is all that matters now.
People who are trying to live in the past are only fooling themselves. People nursing old wounds and grudges from the past are living in a dark and tragic nightmare.
People who allow the failures, wounds, and hurts of the past to define their future end up going nowhere. They end up driving around in circles in an old neighborhood that is mostly a graveyard of old memories.
The same can be true for those who won’t let go of the good memories and successes of the past. Treasure them–for sure, but there’s more.
If that is you, wake up!
Time to get on a new bus.
The ONE THING for today: Learn from the past, treasure the good memories and put the bad memories to rest. But above all, get on a new bus that is going somewhere. And whatever you do, travel light (carrying no unnecessary baggage from the past).