Sports Spectrum Daily Devotional – Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Actor Joe Gries (right), who plays Uncle Rico in Napolean Dynamite, poses with a fan. (Photo Courtesy: David Francis/CC License https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode)

“Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 3:13-14

Press On

If you happened to have watched the movie Napoleon Dynamite, you are likely familiar with the character Uncle Rico. Uncle Rico was basically a middle-aged man whose identity was entirely based on his athletic pursuits of days gone by. Uncle Rico’s days consisted of video taping himself repeatedly throwing a football. He would reminisce incessantly about his high school football career and what could have happened had his coach just put him in during the state championship game. As a result of his attempts to relive the past, his life had become ineffective.

While entirely fictitious, Uncle Rico represents something very real that many of us struggle

with—living in the past. Often, just like Uncle Rico, we are guilty of hanging on to past accomplishments or failures. By constantly looking back to the past, though, our lives lack direction, and we are rendered ineffective for today.

As a former distance runner, I can tell you that one of the cardinal rules of running is to look up and focus straight in front of you. It is a scientific fact that you cannot run faster by looking behind you. In Philippians 3 Paul urges us not to waste time looking behind us, but rather to focus straight ahead and press on toward the goal that we have in Christ Jesus.

Have you been guilty of living in the past? If so, I would like to challenge you to let the past go and refocus your energy toward the calling that you have today in Christ.

TODD GREEN 

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