Pastor David Bowen on passing the baton to 2018
Pastor David Bowen on passing the baton to 2018.
According to Track and Field Magazine, there is a right way and a wrong way to pass a baton in a relay race. “Incoming runners must work hard to avoid dramatic changes in speed late in their leg. Outgoing runners position themselves in a stance that will allow acceleration and will allow them to see the incoming runner approach. The outgoing runner must avoid “fishing for the stick” and should keep the hand steady. The incoming runner can see the hand, and it is this runner’s job to put the stick in the right place.”
Passing the baton in a relay race is a transition, much like turning the calendar from one year to another. In any transition there are certain steps that help make that transition smoother. In recent years, people have taken a magnet and proudly posted their New Year’s resolutions on their refrigerator for all to see. As days turned to weeks those resolutions began to fade, both from their fridge and from their daily schedule.
Research done by Franklin Covey reveals that 43 percent of resolutions are dead by the end of January and 80 percent are finished within three months. Why? What happens? Why do these transitions fail? As with passing a baton, some of us fail to avoid dramatic changes in the speed in which we expect change. Some of us don’t position ourselves in a place that helps us succeed and some of us are just fishing for something different instead of going slow and steady. I guess we all can learn a few things from a properly raced relay race.
One of the keys for a runner approaching the spot where they must hand off the baton is to stay focused on what is in front of them. The things behind them can only distract. This is another good lesson as we head into 2018. What lies ahead in 2018? This past year ended with some pretty tragic events, first at a country concert in Las Vegas and then in a small country church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. These kinds of events can change our lives forever. What happened should never be forgotten, but how do we move forward?
An Olympic athlete trains hard; they train to win. An Olympic athlete uses the most advanced technology available to assist them in their preparation. As we move from 2017 into 2018, we must recognize that we live in a different world than we did a few decades ago. When I was a child there were not threats of terrorism or concerns about domestic shootings. Our children today face issues and realities we as parents never had a concern about. As families, we need to help our children look forward with hope. We need to encourage them to see the great things they can grow up to accomplish and who they can become.
New Year’s resolutions more often than not lead to a return to old habits and ways. Transitions can help us adjust to a new way of living and thinking. Let’s be excited about what lies ahead. Let’s celebrate the good. Let’s find a will and a way to build people up. Whether it be a stranger in line or a neighbor in need. Like a relay runner, let’s focus on what’s in front of us. How can we make 2018 better than 2017?