For the most part, I’m a person that likes to think about the good things coming in the future. I feel blessed God has given me good talents and strong health, and I want to take advantage of them.

I live so much in the future that my wife often reminds me to get back to the present.

I remember here recently we were on a family vacation in New York City, and around Day 2 of this trip, I was asking the family where we wanted to travel next.

This is what I heard …

“Dad, why are we talking about that? Didn’t we just start this vacation?”

“We need to enjoy where we are … New York is so much fun. We can worry about our next trip once we are done here.”

For me, thinking about the future means that I can take action today to make it happen. I find this process both exhilarating and motivating.

The Past

We’ve heard that some people often get stuck in the past, and they are unable to take positive steps forward.

As the saying goes … “The past should not dictate the future.”

The assumption here is that the past has all been bad. However, there are so many beautiful memories and lessons from the past that can help us as we journey forward.

Growing up in a migrant family in Uvalde, Texas, I have a good idea of what it means to be poor.

However, we were rich when it came to love from my grandmother. She and my aunts made sure all the kids had plenty to eat and all the attention we needed.

It’s true we had very little in terms of material things, but this mattered little to us at that time.

Different Perspective

My biggest fear in the past was how close I was to dropping out of school. In the second grade, I skipped school more than half of the time, and I somehow passed to the next grade. I remember my mother meeting with my teacher, and I suppose something was worked out, but I have no idea what it was.

God was watching over us when our migrant work took us to Montezuma, Kansas. The principal at our school was not going to tolerate kids missing school, and we had friendly visits from Mr. Park at our home.

“I’m checking in on Jimmie. Is he sick? We missed him yesterday.”

I had no choice but to get myself to school so I could stop his “friendly” visits to my home. We lived in a small, small town, so it was impossible to hide.

It’s true that we had a very loving home, but the conditions were such that all of us would be dropouts, and our futures were in peril.

For me, it was very likely I would be on the wrong side of the legal system. I’m 100% convinced that the Kansas education system placed me on a path to success.

I have many things swirling through my mind right now, and most of them I cannot control.

After many years of reflection, my perspective is different regarding the past. While it can be good to go back and relive moments from days or years ago, it is important to not let them hold you back from staying engaged in the moment.

So … I will give them up to God and focus instead on what I am blessed to have in the present.