Devotions, Sports

Forgetting the Past

Read: Philippians 3:3-14

“Do not call to mind the former things, Or ponder things of the past.  Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert.” – Isaiah 43:18-19

The call was unfair.  You could see it in his eyes as he approached the referee.  It was the middle of the 2012 London Olympics men’s beach volleyball qualifiers and a point had just been scored against his partner and himself… an over-the-net block in which the competition had touched the ball before his team had been given the opportunity to defend.  According to the rules, the point should have belonged to him, but the ref disagreed.  The score stood.  Nodding his head, he returned to the court, his composure calm and controlled.  The ball was served, his partner set, and he slammed it over the net and evened the score.  His decision to focus on the present instead of the past had made the difference between success and failure.

I had to admit that my own performance in similar circumstances has not always been so stellar.  Frustrated by the unfairness of the circumstances in which I find myself, I often focus more on what is past than upon what lies ahead.  The result is always the same: instead of moving forward to glory, I end up tangled in a mess of further failure.

The Apostle Paul was aware of this and, in the book of Philippians, reminds the young church that whatever has gone before (good or evil) is past – and should be left in the past.  God had something new planned for Israel and He has something new planned for us as well.  Our duty is to keep our heads in the game.

Thought for the Day:  Am I looking towards the future with expectation or am I allowing prior failures to distract me from God’s plan?