Last night I went to the William and Mary basketball game. The Tribe was playing George Mason, one of the top teams in their conference. The teams started evenly and the early score was 5 - 5. George Mason went on a run and scored the next 15 points to make the difference 20 to 5. They only had played about one fourth of the game at that point. I was thinking about what might be going through the minds of the Tribe players. There was lots of time left to catch up but how do you overcome the sagging weight of that huge point deficit? It hit me that you would have to play as if you were starting fresh, as if the score was still 0 - 0 and not worry about what had happened to that point. There was nothing they could do to unravel or undo the scoring burst by their opponent.
Well, William and Mary battled hard and closed the score to a handful of points a few times. They showed great spirit. Ultimately they didn't win this particular game. But the parallel to putting our past behind us and moving forward seemed clear to me. I'm so glad the Lord instituted a plan for forgiveness and the freshness of each new day. We have a way of living that is marked by hope and we need not be burdened or preoccupied by our past failures.
Philippians 3:13 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.