During planting season, there are few things more beautiful than perfect plows lines in the fields. The symmetry of row after row of dirt formed so vegetables can be planted gives a sense of order. If a farmer were to take his eyes off what he was doing, his tractor would go off course, and those rows would be ruined. He would have to start all over again and lose precious time. Jesus uses this as a picture for following Him. He wants us to focus forward.
“But Jesus said to him, “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”
Set Your Sights
Jesus tells this to a man who wants to follow Him after he finishes some business. Sounds logical, but Jesus tells him it’s not. When a farmer is plowing, he is focused straight ahead so that his lines will be straight. If he looks back, his plow will go sideways. The analogy here is that we can’t look to the past while heading forward with Jesus. Our attention and focus need to be on what is ahead, not what was in the past.
Don’t Hold On to the Past
Too many Christians try to keep their old life while living for Jesus. They want to maintain old friendships and habits. The rub is that those friends and habits conflict with what Jesus wants us to do. It may seem unloving to separate from old friends, but they will not push us to be better disciples. They are going to hold us back and drag us back into our old sinful life. You don’t cut ties with them. Instead, try to bring them along with you into your new life.
As a disciple of Jesus, you need to keep our eyes and mind focused on what He has for us. That means eliminating distractions and not turning back to our old ways. The draw will be strong, but we need to resist the temptation. Keep moving forward, and you will find the desires will diminish. What lies ahead is more beneficial.