Friday, August 22, 2008

Forgetting What Lies Behind

"By the time I went to grab it, there was nothing," said Tyson Gay of the USA Men's 4x100 relay team. "Some people say that when it hits the hand, you should have it. I'm a veteran. I've run all kinds of relays. I've never dropped a baton in my life. It's kind of upsetting.
I can't believe it."

Sometimes, practice doesn't make perfect. Both the USA Men's and Women's 4x100 relay teams experienced the same kind of loss--not qualifying by means of dropping the baton.

We all "drop the ball" now and again. Unfortunately, when you're in the Olympic spotlight, dropping the ball, or baton, is--as Tyson Gay said--unbelievable.

I can't imagine how many times these teams must have run and passed, listened for footsteps, felt the "touch" of the one behind. When you are working on such a tight and fast team, you develop the rhythms and you know the timings. To see two teams falter in such similar ways--sadly, looking as though they hadn't rehearsed before--is.......

My heart goes out to them today. They will have to endure a lot of "talk" by the commentators and answer the same question over and over again. They will be "the history" of the event, until the next USA teams remake the history. Instead of carrying the stick, they'll be "on the stick," carrying the weight of a mistake.

* * *

There are no earthly guarantees that practicing everything you know will work for victory. Indeed, there is only One, who was on the stick and carried the weight of the sins of the entire world, who guarantees the ultimate victory.

When we look to Jesus and to God's Word through such team relay racers as Paul, we can, eventually, know perfection--even when we drop the baton. But the baton of perfection isn't something to be grasped in our earthly days. Praise God for His mercy as we forget what lies behind us and reach toward what is in front of us!

"But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ and may be found in Him,

not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so 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 for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."

- Philippians 3: 7-17, New American Standard Bible (italics mine)


Chatty Kelly said...

We saw this last night also. My husband was so upset over it. I felt sad for them.

Your blog today was so right on. We've all failed at something, and as we try to move on, the devil whispers "who are you to do XXXX, remember your failure?!" But Jesus already paid the price for that.

This was one of my favorite posts you've done. Just loved it.

On Purpose said...

Not only do I "drop the baton" a lot of times...He doesn't make me pick it back up myself...I can feel His hands help me pick it up!

Great post!!

The Patterson 5 said...

I really needed this message today. I have dropped the ball, stick, etc. so many times and He is always there to pick me back up. Because of what He did for me my past is wiped clean. I can move on, forward to the complete the plan He has for me which does not include looking back. Thank you for the wonderful reminder of God's mercy and grace.

My ADHD Me said...

I feel so bad for the poor runner that drops the baton. As you said, they practice and peactice and probably have it down to an art. One slip and that is it. Hope they remember that win they win, it is a team win. So when they lose it is a team loss. Not just one individual.

My ADHD Me said...

Why is it that we don't realize all the typos in our comments until we hit the submit button???

Edie said...

Hi Sue! It's so nice to "meet" you and thanks for sharing your passion with us. First I have to say that your header made me miss the beach. I used to live in CA and I would take my daughter to the beach all the time and we would make sand castles. (sigh)

I tend to see the big picture pretty quick at times too. I joke about being able to take a little idea and turn it into a world-wide event in a matter of minutes. :)

But more often I focus too hard on the details. Especially when it involves something I think I should have done better. I can be very hard on myself. I have been doing that since yesterday so this was a very timely word for me.

I enjoyed my visit!