2008-12-31 / Editorial & Columns

Behind the Badge

Welcome 2009
By Larry G. Spence

As the year 2008 comes to a close and we prepare to welcome 2009, we must pause however briefly and look at this past year and all that has happened. Then perhaps we should examine more closely some of the happenings that took place, see if there is anything we can learn from them, and then move on. Too many people want to continue to live in the past, and although it's important to learn from the past, we mustn't dwell there too long. Even today there are people who are still living someone else's mistakes from years ago, because they just won't turn loose of the past. In order to get better, to heal, whether it be personally, or nationwide, we must move forward.

I remember reading about Coach Gary Barnett of Northwestern University as he prepared to start a new season after playing in the Rose Bowl the previous year, their first trip in decades. He announced to his team that he was about to hand out awards his players had earned in their successful year of 1995. As each player's name and accomplishments were announced the team cheered wildly. Even the coach received a placard mentioning his 17 Coach of the Year Awards. The Coach Barnett walked to a trash can marked "1995," took an admiring look at his placard, and then dumped it in the trash can.

In the silence that followed, one by one, the team's stars followed the coach and dumped their placard stating their accomplishments in the trash on top of Coach Barnett's. The message the coach had shouted without even saying a word was, "What you did in 1995 was terrific, but guys look at the calendar, it's 1996." It's great to celebrate the accomplishments of the past, but with God, our best days are ahead. It's so easy to be obsessed with the past, but it's at the expense of the future. So let's learn the lessons that need to be learned, enjoy the pleasures we've had, but we need to press on to the present and then to the future. I hope each of you will have a safe and happy and blessed 2009.

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