My dad owned a lumberyard, so I first learned to drive by practicing on a forklift and then progressing from that to large trucks. In the evenings, after the store was closed, I would drive a 2-ton flatbed truck around and around the yard as I practiced using a clutch and shifting the gears. Although I was only 12 I thought I had gotten pretty proficient with that big rig, so one day I called my dad out to witness just how good I’d become.
Learning how to use my mirrors
Dad watched with a smile on his face as I weaved in and out of the units of lumber with proficiency. He agreed that I was doing pretty well and then he said, “Okay, now learn to use your mirrors and get good at driving backwards.” My dad went on to explain, “Most anyone can drive forward but a really good driver knows how to use his mirrors to back up.” The challenge was on and so, after weeks of practice, I learned to back that big old truck in and out of the tightest spots with only the use of the side mirrors.
There are times when we need to look behind
Through the years I have found that there are many parallels between the physical world and the spiritual realm, and the lesson I learned from driving with mirrors is a perfect example. We need to keep our eyes focused on the road ahead, but we also need to know how to properly look at what’s behind us. Mirrors are good and necessary but they also can distort the view, making some things appear different than they really are.
Mirrors are good, but only when used properly
Like using a mirror to see what’s behind me, it is good at times to think of the past, remembering past situations and friends. But like the view my mirror, I have to keep in my mind that my memory of the past is at best imperfect and inaccurate. Mirrors are nothing but a reflection, they are not the real image. In fact, many times they are a distorted view of things, even a reversed image. If bear in mind that my memory is imperfect I can grow from my mistakes, learn to forgive others, and let go of people and situations as I “reflect” on what’s behind me. And although yesterday is gone forever, when I see things in the past properly I can change who I am now and move forward onto a better road ahead. By learning how to properly at our past we can then let go of it and grow from is so we can press forward towards the goal ahead.