“When I hear somebody sigh that life is hard, I am tempted to ask, ‘Compared to what’?” –Sydney J. Harris
Israel escaped slavery in Egypt to travel through a desert with Moses, but hunger caused them to complain, “We used to have it so good in Egypt.” They forgot about the backbreaking work and their routine beatings, because at least they had meat and bread to eat (Exo. 16:3). Israel had no perspective of the promise land Moses was taking them to, because they were living in a false rosy image of the past. Our minds can tend to work similarly: we choose to remember the good parts of our pasts, but brush over the parts that were bad. Maybe it’s a failed relationship, or job that didn’t work out, and for whatever reason, we miss what never really was. The lesson for Israel is true for us: it’s hard to see the greater places we want to go if we're living in the rosy images we paint of our pasts.
But I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead (Philippians 3:13, NLT).