“But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.”
– Genesis 19:26
“It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed. On that day no one who is on the roof of his house, with his goods inside, should go down and get them. Likewise, no one in the field should go back for anything. Remember Lot’s wife! Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left.”
– Luke 17:30-35
Coincidentally, I thought about Lot’s wife in conjunction with a friend’s struggle to let go of the past. Some of us tend to pick our feet up and move forward one slow step at time. Others are threatened by the truth. They put up their hands and say, “It’s too scary to move forward. I want sympathy, not truth. I don’t want to live. I want what I used to have.” The question I posted on Facebook was: When Lot’s wife looked back and was turned to a pillar of salt was it because of her disobedience to God or does the scripture go even deeper?
Pastor Bernie Lutchman responded with,
“Basically she was told (along with Lot) to NOT look back…and that meant in all senses of the word – kinda like when grumbling Israel moaned about how “good” they had it under slavery in Egpyt and blamed Moses for everything. She had a pretty luxurious lifestyle in Sodom. Remember Lot chose the best land from under Abraham! In Luke 17:32 Jesus mentioned her in as much to say..when He says go – just drop everything don’t look in the rear view mirror – something may be gaining on you!! Great lesson as well about letting the dead past bury the dead past and constantly focused ahead without trying to recapture the past.”
It was the answer I was looking for, but I was disappointed that no one else participated. Perhaps my conscious probed the deeper motivations for writing transparently? Am I walking forwards or backwards? Conversationally talking about my past is like therapy. It helps me think it out, make sense of it all, and when you really see, you can see God in it all. There’s a healthy way of looking backwards. It’s when you use your past to help others who have not yet healed. If you are always standing in the puddle of the past, you’re bound to sink into it and become mired in the misery, angry because everyone else is living. I like laughing. I like the silliness of life. I like taking risks. If I fail, I praise God. If I succeed, I praise God. In my hikes, I’ve seen the clouds move over the sky and momentarily hide a patch of ground from the sun. The semi-darkness is never forever. The sun will peek through again and shine its warmth on the ground drying up the mud.
Lot’s wife had friends. She had wealth. Was it the fascination of seeing the wonder of God’s wrath pouring out over Soddom and Gomorrah, or was it a yearning to turn back and go home? In Genesis 19, I sense hesitancy on the part of Lot and his wife from the very beginning. Neither really wanted to leave. He begged God to let him go to a nearby town for safety rather than to flee without stopping through the plains. In Matthew 19:24 it says, “Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God.” Letting go is a lot like attempting to pry the keys from a drunken man’s hand so he doesn’t bring others down with him.
Could you refrain from looking back? What does that say about my belief in an omnipresent God? Are things more important? Am I waiting with open arms for His return? Or is one eye looking over my shoulder in regret of what I would leave behind?