Don't Look Back
John D. Telgren

I have a scar on my lip that forever reminds me to look where I am going. As a preschooler, I was always getting injured as a child because I was bumping my head or running into something. My head was nothing but a great big knot. I think I may have been ADD before they knew what ADD was.

My mother used to always have Korean friends over. It was always different when they came over because it would always sound like they were speaking really fast. I sometimes wonder if English sounds really slow to Koreans. Anyway, they would get together, converse in Korean, then prepare and eat exotic food. Of course, I usually got the standard peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I sometimes wondered what it was that they were eating. Occasionally I would ask Mom for some of what she was eating, especially that red stuff in the jar. She would tell me no about the red stuff. She would let me eat the noodles, kim-pop, mandoo, spinach, and some of the others things they might occasionally have. But I never got the red stuff in the jar.

As time went on, I began to ask for it more aggressively. Each time, she would firmly tell me no. Well, one day I just threw a fit and demanded she let me have that red stuff. I guess that was the last straw. I demanded she let me have it, so she went ahead and let me have it. Boy, did she let me have it! I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t see. Smoke billowed out of my nostrils. Steam whooshed from my ears. I was in pain! I began to throw a different kind of fit. I was really being overly melodramatic. Well, I wasn’t looking where I was going. The next thing I remember was standing on the front porch with a broken storm door behind me. Yes, I ran outside without opening the door. The glass cut my face and I was bleeding everywhere.

Mom came over as they tried to stop the bleeding. She tells me that she was horrified once they got the bleeding to stop. My top lip was cut clean through. Even though my mouth was closed, she could still see my teeth. Fortunately, the doctors at the hospital were able to stitch me back together again.

I learned two lessons that day. First of all, listen to Mom when she says you should not have it. If it is red and pulsates, and your Mom says you shouldn’t have it, it is probably a good idea to listen. Second, I learned to look where I am going. When not focusing on where you are going, there will be an accident.

“But Jesus said to him, ‘No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God (Luke 9:62)."

No matter what is going on around us, or what has happened behind us, we must never let it take our eyes off our Lord. He is the center of our life. If we are not centered on him, we may have to learn a painful lesson to keep looking where we are supposed to be going.