One trait that allowed me to be a passable golfer wasn't great skill, lots of practice, the best golf swing ever or pure natural talent. It was the ability to forget. You see ... in golf if you are always dwelling in the last bad shot you hit, you are not able to envision and execute the shot you are about to hit. In baseball if you are thinking about the last strikeout it becomes hard to think about the current at-bat. In life if you are thinking about past mistakes (what people think about you, why your life isn't working out like you desire) then you can't look to the future with a positive and hopeful outlook.
Paul, in Philippians 3:12-14, reminds us of the value of forgetting. "I focus on one thing ... forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead. I press on to reach the end of the race ... "
Paul's words are some of the greatest business and life advice ever. Here are his points ...
1. Focus on one thing - Every day and every moment there is something that is important that requires our focus. It is hard when our heads are in our phones or computers thinking about the Pokemon game or Facebook. Pick what has true importance and focus on that!
2. Forget the past - Learn from your mistakes, failures and personal losses ... and then move on. Jackson Browne was wrong when he wrote "it's easier sometimes to change the past." We CANNOT change the past but through God's leading, grace and healing He can change how we are affected by the past. I can't dwell on my last bad golf shot and effectively focus on the current shot.
3. Look forward - We live in a generation that has difficulty seeing exactly where we are. We are distracted ... misdirected ... confused. Jesus commented that His people wandered like sheep without a shepherd. We have a shepherd. He leads from the front. Look to Him and you will see the challenges and the good that lies ahead.
4. Look to what lies ahead - We say we trust God. Yet, we pine and worry about our daily bread. We sing about our faith, yet we wonder if God has it under control. Paul doesn't just tell us to look ... he ends this chapter with the following words ... "He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like His own, using the same power with which He will bring EVERYTHING under His control."
I like that "everything" word. His perfect plan lies ahead so we can trust enough to focus ... have the faith to forget our past ... have the strength to look forward ... and have the vision to see what lies ahead. We press and struggle and strive for the prize to which God is calling us. That striving is a full, eventful and purposeful life. Randy