“But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.” –Genesis 19: 26
Prior to the destruction of the city of Sodom, Lot, his wife and his two daughters are led out of the city by two insistent, visiting angels.
As Sodom is being destroyed behind Lot and his escaping family, Lot’s wife turns to look back. Perhaps the noise or the heat from the destruction proved too seductive, pulling her attention away from the present and future Grace was so graciously paving for the family as they fled.
Whatever the reason or reasons for Lot’s wife’s backward glance, the narrative shows us the need to remain focused on the ever-present, loving and guiding hand of Grace because, when we divert our attention away from Grace by looking back, we turn away from the immediacy and warmth of God’s clasp in the present moment. And we also, potentially, lose sight of the future places Grace is inviting us to go, grow into and otherwise BE, while Grace accompanies us.
The very act of looking back toward “what was” causes us to lose forward momentum in relationship to what might be during that moment when God first takes us by the hand. And, in turning to salt, we may dissappear with the very next rain storm, dissolving into the sands of our own, private desert.