“Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 3:13-14
How many times have you watched an athletic competition in which one mistake multiplies into many more? An athlete loses focus and continues to think about something bad that just happened. Next thing you know, he makes another mistake. This phenomenon happens over and over again in sports.
So, what causes it? Many things—pride, embarrassment, perfectionism, looking for approval from others. The list could go on and on. But at the bottom of it all is lack of discipline and focus which keeps the athlete from concentrating on the right things.
We can’t live in the past. We can only live in the present. The value of the past is that we can learn from it, but we can never relive it. A phrase that I heard often at former college coach Stan Joplin’s practices was, “Make the next play.”
I love this principle. It can be applied not only to sports but also to life. Whether we’ve just experienced success or failure, we need to go out and “make the next play.” The apostle Paul reminded us of this when he encouraged us to forget what was behind and pursue what God has for us ahead.
What’s your first reaction when you make a mistake in sports?
What’s your first reaction when you make a mistake in life?
What does it mean to “make the next play”?
- How can you get better at forgetting the past?
2 Corinthians 5:17
“Father, help me to learn from my past but not let it tarnish my future. Thank You for forgiving me of my sins and releasing me to live a new life. May my life choices draw others to You. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”