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Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Five (5) ways your windshield & rear view mirror can help you live a fuller life today.

Your windshield is larger than your review mirror on purpose.

Photo by Blake Barlow on Unsplash

Rear-View Mirror vs Windshield:

A week ago, I received a Word of God from a trusted leader in my life:

Remember that your windshield is larger than your rear-view mirror. The rear-view mirror is important. It's important to occasionally glance backward and see what came before. But the windshield is the majority of your field of vision on purpose. Look back, but don't let your rear-view mirror become your entire field of vision, let it remain a small portion of your overall view. Make most of what you see, the future, forward, what's in front of you. 

In the following week, I listened to the StoryBrand podcast with Donald Miller. Either he or a guest said this exact same phrasing about letting your rear-view mirror remain the smaller portion of your field of vision.

Then today, as I opened my Language of Letting Go (app), 11/26/2019, Letting go of Criticism, there was a phrase that stuck out:

Look how far we've come! It's good to focus on the task ahead, on what remains to be done. It's important to stop and feel pleased about what we've accomplished too.

What it means for us today:

As I prayerfully ponder what this means for me and by extension for you, I find the following points rising to the top:

  • 1. Take Step One: The purpose of a windshield is to see what's in front of you. Specifically, what's right in front of you. The task at hand. The immediate future, just a glimpse down the road. So often we can get side-tracked by wallowing in the past or day-dreaming about the future, and the tasks that will get us moving forward are left undone, for another day, postponed indefinitely as our "wishes" for the future remain ever distant. It's time to put our hand to the plow, go to work, work overtime, write that blog post, song, book, read that novel, paint that painting, attend that class... do the things you know to do, or you'll never figure out what step two is. You think you've been waiting ten years for God to bring that provision he promised, when all the while, he's been waiting on your to do step one He already gave you. And step two isn't coming until you finish step one.
  • 2. The Next Indicated Step: The darker it is outside, the more the field of vision is by necessity restricted to the immediate future. You can't see as far down the road, you can't see as far behind either. You can see what's immediately in front of you. Life gets hard sometimes. I mean, HARD. Awful, even. Sometimes devastating. In rare instances, you may wake up one morning to have your entire world shattered into a million unrecoverable pieces, and you are left to build a mosaic from whatever is left. In these dark times, your field of visoin is by necessity reduced to the immediate future. Maybe even today is too much, this hour, this ten minutes, this minute. Breathe. What's the Next Indicated Step. It might be that the next indicated step, in a moment like this, is to break down crying, then take a nap. That's acceptable, do it, own it, embrace it. Lean into it. 
  • 3. Avoid Dangers You've Seen Before: The Rear-View Mirror doesn't really show you the past. Not really. It shows you what is happening right now, behind and to the sides of you. It's not about what happened years ago. It's about what is behind you that is threatening to make your current journey hazardous. So if there's any habits, hang-ups, proclivities, or tendencies that are dangerous to your current journey, the mirror is there to show you these so you can deal with them, avoid them, or plan for them, to avoid danger. 
  • 4. Do a Happy Dance (or Wiggle) / Appreciate the Past: The Rear-View Mirror does show us what is behind us. It may be helpful to glance back and see how far we've really come. In the distance, you can see where you started. Beyond your field of vision are places and events you can no longer clearly see, but they affected your journey. Take that glance, own it, and appreciate how much progress you've really made. Give a little shout and happy wiggle (no dancing, you're driving, if you need to dance, pull the car over and get out and dance, then get back on the road). 
  • 5. Focus on What's In Front Of You: The Windshield is the majority of our vision for a reason. I have literally started the swerve or veer off the road by looking at the rear-view mirror too long while driving. You can miss what's in front of you, and even crash. Make sure the majority of your time, talents, treasures, thoughts, words spoken to others, words spoken to yourself, are directed at your immediate and long term future. The past is a reference, not a parking place. If you spend most of your time talking about things that happened in the past, you aren't living in your present. Old stories should remain occasional anecdotes, not frequent repeats. 

Your turn:

Comment below, what are you dealing with today that this reminds you of? What's in front of you that needs to get done, behind you that you need to acknowledge but glance back from?


Shalom: Live Long and Prosper!
Darrell Wolfe (DG Wolfe)
Storyteller | Writer | Thinker | Consultant @

Clifton StrengthsFinder: Intellection, Learner, Ideation, Achiever, Input
16Personalities (Myers-Briggs Type): INFJ


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