Time will always move on, chiseling in stone events of the present, establishing the past in permanence.
Dwelling on the past will lead you down an inevitable path. You'll come across things that you wish you could relive, memories you'll cherish forever. And of course, your mind will stumble onto other things, moments of weakness or anger, memories laced with regret and hopelessly unchangeable. Yes, the past, once lived moments, are parts of our being that, while physically gone, stay with us forever.
Too often, I allow the past to define me, or worse, allow it to determine my future. I forget how powerful the past can be, a mental presence that can yield glorious hope and overwhelming fear. Ultimately though, I know that I empower the past. I determine whether the thoughts can consume me or not.
And firmly grasping that truth, I can let go. I can give the past to God, and He can use it to guide me in the future. Recalling those painful events can retrain my focus and remind me not to allow those situations to arise again. In the moments where I'm at my weakest, where I'm far gone and I don't believe I can ever get back, I'm reminded that God has got me through it before, and even better, He can do it again.
The past isn't just an eternal reminder of our shortcomings. It's a lesson learned, a tool that equips us for the future. Through God, the past can heal us.