Whether you love Alabama football or hate it (or couldn’t care less), Tua Tagovailoa is a great college quarterback. Sports commentators are running out of adjectives to describe his play. If you know anything about American football, he is exciting to watch.
By all accounts, one of the keys to Tua’s high-level performance is his ability to “forget” the last play. Whether what happened a few moments ago was good or bad, he is able to close the book on that event completely and focus his entire attention on the next play. Many players try to do this, of course, but Tua Tagovailoa apparently does it exceptionally well. His “short memory” is a big part of his skill set.
As you’ve probably already guessed, I want to apply this to our spiritual lives and make the point that we need to be able to “let go” and “move on” — and not just with the bad things that happen to us but the good ones also. We will not do what we ought to do as well as we should if we’re not able to treat the present moment as a real opportunity to start over. The trite saying “that was then, this is now” contains more than a little truth and wisdom. In our journey toward greater godliness, we’d do well to acquire some of the short memory that benefits Tua Tagovailoa so powerfully in football.
Doing this, however, is not easy. In fact, it is extremely difficult. Our past is a part of us, and it cannot be forgotten. In fact, if we’re going to profit from our previous experience, the past must certainly not be forgotten. So the skill of stepping up to the next “play” and deliberately shutting out “what just happened” is a very specific skill. It does not require us to forget the past permanently, but it does mean that we can block things out on an as-needed basis — and this frees us to treat the present moment as a brand new opportunity.
So thank you, Tua. I’m working on being able to hit the reset button as quickly as you do. I’m getting better at forgetting the last play, and then giving the next play everything I’ve got. From a scriptural standpoint, I believe that’s what Paul was recommending when he said, “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).
So let me spell it out for you, my brothers and sisters, very plainly in the form of a recommendation. With each new day (and each opportunity within that day) acquire the ability to say something like this to yourself: “I may as well have never existed before this moment. I have no history — no achievements to make me proud and no mistakes to discourage me. I will live as if this day is the only one the Lord will ever take into account in His judgment of me. The only person I am is the person the Lord knows me to be in this very moment. Right now.”
Gary Henry – WordPoints.com