The disciples were placed in this situation in the Garden with Jesus when He asked them to pray and they instead slept.
How many times have I looked back onto the past with the same despair of making a decision, and only to regret it later? Yet Christ comes to me just as He did to the disciples and says, "Come, let us get up..." For the Disciples the next thing led their Lord to a cross, one intended for us to bear not the Perfect Messiah.
O.C. last sentence is what really got me. "Never let the sense of past failure defeat your next step." Where would the Disciples be without the next step? Oh yes, it was one that was reaped in tragedy, but We know the end of the story! Jesus took that step for the freedom of our eternal lives.
Despair can cripple a ministry, a friendship, a marriage, or even a career. I don't want to be defined by my past steps, but the ones I have chosen to follow in obedience to His love for me.
In the front of my Bible there is a quote. This quote is not a scholars, or teachers, it's a sports commentator's.. There were 2 commentators talking about the late Walter Payton. My quote reads, " Walter Payton in his career with the Chicago Bears ran for a total of 9 miles in yards. The amazing thing is this was while getting knocked down EVERY 4.6 yards!!!"
Heb 12:2-3 tells us, "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter (Teleiotes - to complete, a completer, perfecter, particularly one who reaches a goal so as to win the prize (lexical aids)) of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning it's shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."
I love the translation of perfecter...yet what grabbed me was our focus. "let us fix our eyes" or "consider him who endured", these all require our focus to come off our despair and take the next step with Him. Walter Payton was a running back who's main focus is 10 yards. A touchdown is always nice, but his primary concern is getting those 10 yards. He never lost focus as his career stats tell us. I pray that my life with Christ can be seen in the same scope, that one could say, "She never lost her focus, and she finished her race well."
Thank you Lord, for your willingness to take the next step for me. I desire to be a finisher, let me do so today. Let me lay aside all despair from past choices which have the desire to pull me backwards. Let me keep my eyes on you, the author and FINISHER of my Faith. I love you Lord!