Rev. & Mrs. Kenneth Fellenbaum

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Milford, Connecticut, United States

Bible Verse of the Day

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Learn From the Past - But Do Not Dwell There

How are you doing with your New Year's resolutions? Did you make any? If you did, what were they? Many people have made them in the past but experience failure. Afterward, some resolve to not make resolutions anymore.

I have found the passing of the old year and the beginning of a new one to be an excellent opportunity to do an inventory of my life. What aspects need some changes? What things should I do differently? It has been said that a definition of insanity is to remain doing the same things while expecting different results!

That said, I find some wisdom in the writings of Apostle Paul that is appropriate to the way one can go forward in the new year. "I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it (perfection). But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.

"I press on toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me." (Philippians 3:13-14)

Paul's approach to life included the humility to acknowledge that he was not perfect and still needed to work on himself. The people who think they have arrived are not going to grow any further. I am sure we all know individuals like this; let us not be one of them.

The "one thing" that Paul said he did actually consisted of three aspects: forgetting what lay behind, straining toward what is ahead, pressing on toward the goal.

A few comments about each of these points: While it is important to learn from the past, we cannot live there. We must leave the past behind, with its successes and failures, and live in the present.

It is also important to have some idea of where one wants to go, to have goals and objectives. Notice that Paul used the word "straining" when speaking of going forward. This implies real effort, not a lackadaisical attitude. Related to this but somewhat different is the "pressing toward the goal." How may times have we failed to reach an objective because we did not stick to it through completion? Using a football metaphor, do not quit on the 10-yard line, but push on until the ball is in the end zone.

If you embrace these steps, you will find yourself achieving your New Year's resolutions and succeeding throughout the year.

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