Don't Look Back
Justin Tucker, kicker for the Baltimore Ravens, was once commented that the most crucial time in a game is not the field goal that you miss, it's the one after that really shows what you're made of.
In most things in life, we need to look forward to where we are going rather than looking back at where we have been. Of course, it is good to learn from our mistakes, but we they can't be our focus as we continue on.
Spiritually, it's an important concept, too. We have so many examples of people looking back to the detriment of their future. It didn't go so well for Lot's wife. The Israelites couldn't stop looking back to Egypt as they wandered the desert and ended up not entering into the promised land when they arrived the first time.
If we are people of faith, however, we can see these things as turning points for us. Failure? Chance for redemption and growth. Rejection? Turning to the welcome that is waiting for us. Shortcomings? Opportunity to truly see the strength of God in the work that occurs in and through them.
This is what gratitude looks like. Not only for the blessings that make us feel good, but for the times when we fall short and are given the opportunity to stretch out our hands and receive help.
"I lift my eyes up to the hills. Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, maker of heaven and earth." (Psalm 121:1-2)