I was reading about Jesus' reply to a man who sought to follow him, found in Luke 9:61-62.
"Still another said, 'I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family.' Jesus replied, 'No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.'"
At first glance the first thought is, BAD JESUS! How much more cold hearted could He have been! The poor guy just wanted to throw out a peace sign to his friends and family before hitting the road! Or so it would appear….
Just like Lot's wife, turning to look back at Sodom and Gomorrah… just like Saul, returning to his depraved state of mind… just like Samson, returning to Delilah… nothing good ever seems to happen when we strive to revisit the past.
Matters of the heart will almost always overcome matters of logic.
The past really wasn't THAT great, but hindsight has the tendency to apply glamour to a trash can. This is why so many have a hard time leaving poor relationships. This is why the future always seems so promising, yet so scary. This is why so many fail to ever achieve their full potential. They aren't plowing the field looking ahead so that their lines may be straight and so they may be able to see the obstacles in their way.
They look behind.
And in doing so their lines become crooked, their crops intermingle and choke each other out, and every obstacle comes as an unpleasant surprise. It may be a rock that breaks the blade or it may be a hole in the ground that steals our plow from under our hands. Either way, we find that the more we look behind the harder it is to plow forward.
Jesus wasn't being bad and He wasn't being mean. He simply wanted the passion that was inside this young man to remain focused on the future and He knew if he, like so many others, had turned to look back, the kingdom of God that was within his grasp would slip away.
The kingdom of God requires our eyes to be set on the destination of the plow – on the plans of the future – open so we may see, avoid, and overcome any obstacle that would seek to rob us of our harvest.
Plowing the fields while looking back is no different than plowing blindfolded and the end result is very much the same. The aftereffect is a reactionary life (one that reacts to the problems as they come) in lieu of a revolutionary life (one who sees the problem and avoids it, or plans for it, before it even arrives.)
Jesus was a revolutionary and He lived a revolutionary life. He wasn't being heartless or mean. He was… simply desiring that all would look forward, not back.