I’ve always had a smidge of sympathy for Lot’s wife. I know, I know. If God tells you to go, you go and don’t wonder at what you’re leaving behind.
That’s a whole lot easier said than done.
Besides, I don’t think the point of the story is “never look behind you.” I think the point is radical obedience–which looks not the same for each of us.
We took our whole family on a jet plane a couple weeks ago and touched down in Nevada with no sights set on winnings bigger than the snuggles of missed cousins. We rented a minivan the kids liked better than ours and drove into southeastern Utah, where you can try, but you won’t be able to take a picture without an amazing background view.
We stayed in this great house and everyone had plenty of space though they preferred to be together all of the time.
We hiked and walked and trudged through the sand of Snow Canyon and the most family-friendly trails of Zion National Park. Except for when my fearless one and her daddy ascended legendary Angels Landing–and she told me later about hiking the last half-mile holding a chain and that she didn’t believe I’d be able to do it. You’re not supposed to look down, Mommy. If you do, you’ll get scared.
I suppose that’s a lot like, you’re not supposed to look behind. If you do, you’ll regret leaving.
Maybe Lot’s wife regretted leaving. Or maybe she was just nostalgic. We don’t really know. All we do know is God told them to get out of town and don’t look back–and she did.
I’m a master of hindsight. Oh, if I’d known then what I know now. I’ve got a long list of how our life could be better.
Better than what, though? Because, truthfully, right now, we’re pretty darn blessed. And I’d say it’s mere grace the Lord hasn’t turned me to salt.
Instead He’s teaching me something with my tendency to look back and what if and wonder why. Showing me in great strokes of glory that what lies behind me is the best kind of broken beautiful.
Looking a lot like this sunrise I almost missed the morning I drove my sister into work so early the sun rose behind me while I drove back down the valley.
Sometimes that glance back reminds us Who’s got our back–shining like the sun and sweeping us away into the greatest kind of love story. The kind where, when we glance backward we see all the little pieces falling together to make the story we have today.
Abraham’s family had to survive–no time for looking back. Praise Jesus, we get to live and learn and stare over our shoulders at the wondrous majesty that has protected us all along.