"A 'Best Is Yet To Come' Attitude"
There are many parallels that can be drawn between life and competitive athletics. One of the most obvious is that in athletics you do not have the time to throw a pity party for past failures or the luxury of gloating over past successes. If you do either, you will fail to reach your full potential in the present and future. You can learn from past mistakes and you can build upon past success but you must always keep your focus on the future.
Life is the same way. We all make mistakes. No one walks through life without ever experiencing failure. The difference comes in how people respond to their failures. The individuals who learn from their mistakes and become determined to do better in the future are the ones who find the most fulfillment in life. John Maxwell’s book, Failing Forward, reports on the part that failure played in the ultimate success of many people. All of the people he wrote about shared one trait. They viewed their failures as learning experiences that could help them be better prepared for the future. They agreed that failing did not make you a failure but accepting failure did.
The Apostle Paul recognized that he was not perfect but he was determined to learn from past mistakes and to move forward. In Philippians he wrote, “Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal of the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus’”(Philippians 4:12-14 NASB).
Like Paul, we must recognize our imperfection, deal with it and move beyond it. Just as athletes must continually prepare for the next game, Christians must continually prepare for the next phase of their lives. Each year, rather than dwelling on past failures, we need to see the New Year as a time for moving beyond past failures. Like Paul, it is a time for us to acknowledge our imperfections without accepting them as being final. It is time to commit ourselves to pressing forward to becoming all that Christ has for us to become. There will times when we will fail but these failures need not be more than bumps in the road, if we will keep our focus on the calling of Christ in our lives.
My prayer for all of us is that we will look to the future with a “the best is yet to come” attitude, expecting 2009 to be a great year.