Have you ever looked back on a recent decision you’ve made only to ask yourself, “What was I thinking?” I know that I have. Like the time I decided to jump out of the vehicle at a stop sign to jump in the front seat of the vehicle in front of me that I thought was my brother’s car – It wasn’t. Thank God the door was locked, but that didn’t keep the driver of that vehicle from having a panic attack as I impacted against his passenger side door or prevent my friends back in the vehicle I jumped out of from having a story to tell on me forever. I look back on that event now and ask myself, “What was I thinking?” The truth is that I have a better perspective now than I had at the time of the decision. Some call that hindsight and say that hindsight is 20/20, meaning we all see better after the fact. The problem with hindsight is that it requires us to constantly look backwards at our decisions. Trying to walk forward while looking backwards is a dangerous proposition at best and will not usually end well for us. While I believe that I can learn from the past, I cannot afford to focus on it. Therefore, hindsight must become foresight. Hindsight becomes foresight when we choose to evaluate, process and learn from our previous choices with a view to progress as we move towards our goal. Hindsight alone can cause a cycle of regret and fear of failure that will lead to poor choices that will cause us to once again ask, “What was I thinking?” The lesson in this for me is to come to the point that when I am making decisions to preemptively ask myself a slightly different question. “What am I thinking?” This allows me to pause, evaluate, seek counsel and benefit from past mistakes in the present situation.
In recent days my wife and I have begun a new leg of this journey that is both wonderful and terrifying. We were discussing this earlier today and came to an interesting conclusion. When we are thinking and talking together about the vision God has given us we become full of faith and excitement. We are able to remind ourselves of the confirmations and obvious provisions that the Lord has revealed once we made the decision to go for it. We move from hindsight to foresight. The way seems clear and our decision joyous. However, when we go for periods of time without thinking and talking about it we began to question, doubt, worry and stress out wondering to ourselves, “What were we thinking?” We are becoming better at tweaking that question in order to draw from the lessons of the past while staying focused on the present goal of making progress towards the plans of God for us in this season. This keeps us in faith and allows us to enjoy the journey while trusting the goodness of God to guide and provide for us as we walk into this with Him!
Stop living in the world of “What was I thinking?’ and choose to focus instead on “What am I thinking?” If you are walking backwards, stop and turn around. If you have fallen, get up. If you have hit bottom and are face down, roll over and at least look up. What you are thinking matters!