At church this morning, our pastor opened his sermon by reciting a dramatic three-word Bible verse, Luke 17:32. Three quick and somewhat odd words from the mouth of Jesus: "Remember Lot's wife."
Lot's wife. A character so insignificant her name isn't even mentioned in any part of the Bible. But Jesus wants us to remember her. Why?
My pastor referenced us back to Genesis 19 for her story. Lot and his family are living in Sodom, a wicked town filled with people committing all kinds of despicable sins. Angels appear to Lot and tell him to get his family out of the town because God is about to destroy it. The angels tell him, "Flee for your lives! Don't look back!"
Lot, his wife, and their two daughters reluctantly obey. They don't want to go. It's their home. They don't want to leave everything they know and love behind, but they do.
As soon as they start along their way out of Sodom, God's wrath pours down on the city and it's obliterated behind them. Against the angels' instructions, Lot's wife stops and turns around to look back at the carnage, to get one last look at the home she's leaving. That's when she, famously, turns into a pillar of salt.
That's what Jesus wanted us to remember.
I know there are many ways you could personally interpret that passage to fit your life, but today the message I got was this: don't look back. Don't live in the past. Keep your eyes on the future, on the road ahead, on the goal, on the prize.
Maybe you're new to the faith. Or maybe you're trying to start over for the umpteenth time in your Christian walk. Maybe you've got a sinful or an unhealthy habit you're trying to shake. Whatever the case, don't look back and get discouraged by your past sins, struggles, or failures. They won't turn you into salt, but they'll drag you down and try to convince you that you can't change.
Don't look back. Forget about where you've been, what you've done or what you haven't done, and focus only on what you can do. Then do it. Move on. Move forward.