Forward is one of my favorite words.

On September 7, 2019, a television sports commentator said this about the University of Tennessee’s quarterback Jarrett Guarantino during the Brigham Young University game.

“He’s over-analytical and he dwells on the previous play. He cannot allow himself to get into that funk. He’s gotta move forward and worry about what he can control. And that is the very next play.”

Is this a message worth remembering?

That young athlete—all six-feet-four, 213 pounds of him—is an imposing figure on the football field. I’d suggest getting out of his way.

But his size and strength don’t guarantee success. There’s this mental thing going on—and he’s in control of it.

I’ve walked with the Lord for many years and watched him do amazing things. But this doesn’t guarantee continued success. There’s this mental thing going on—and I’m in control of it.

I’ve walked with the Lord for many years and watched him do amazing things. But this doesn’t guarantee continued success. There’s this mental thing going on—and I’m in control of it. Click To Tweet

I fight the tendency to be over-analytical, dwelling on the previous play, tripping over a tangle of regret and a truckload of what-ifs. You, too?

Listen up! We can’t allow ourselves to get into that funk. We’ve gotta move forward and worry about what we can control—the very next play!

Thesaurus amplifies funk: bad temper, bad humor, bad mood. We know all about that, don’t we? Even a small mess-up can send us sputtering in this bad place. Just can’t get over it. Just can’t put it out of mind. Just can’t shake its hold and move forward.

That brings us to that awesome word forward. It means to advance, to move ahead. That’s the direction I want to go.

Many times in my prayer journal I’ve written forward on January 1. That’s progress—for someone who is so prone to keep looking behind. In my cherished daily devotional Streams in the Desert, I’ve highlighted references to forward.

“Only be careful to obey His least prohibition; and where, after believing prayer, there are no apparent hindrances, go forward with enlarged heart” (Jan. 10).

“Just as the wise sailor can use a head wind to carry him forward by tacking and taking advantage of its impelling force; so it is possible for us in our spiritual life through the victorious grace of God to turn to account the things that seem most unfriendly and unfavorable, and to be able to say continually, ‘The things that were against me have happened to the furtherance of the Gospel’” (Jan. 13).

“We fail many times to receive the blessing He has ready for us, because we do not go forward with Him. While we miss much good through not waiting for God, we also miss much through over-waiting. There are times when we are to go forward with a firm step. There are many Divine promises which are conditions upon the beginning of some action on our part. When we begin to obey, God will begin to bless us” (Jan. 26).

“We must learn to take God at His Word, and go straight on in duty, although we see no way in which we can go forward. The reason we are so often balked by difficulties is that we expect to see them removed before we try to pass through them. If we would move straight on in faith, the path would be opened for us. We stand still, waiting for the obstacle to be removed, when we ought to go forward as if there were no obstacles” (Feb. 11).

There are many more inspiring passages that through the years have encouraged me to keep moving forward, despite difficulty and disappointment, believing God is working and ultimately will bring me to a spacious place.

Are you looking for a good word for the new year? How about forward? This is no time to turn around and go back. And it’s no time to stand in place. It’s time to move. What are you waiting for?

Are you looking for a good word for the new year? How about forward? This is no time to turn around and go back. And it’s no time to stand in place. It’s time to move. Click To Tweet

Get on your cleats and come with me, “forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before. I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (see Philippians 3:13-14).

Forward to the next play!

© Dianne Barker 2019

Please follow and like us: