Life is a collection of moments. The moment when you realize if you swing your leg just right you can climb out of your crib to freedom. That moment when you are riding your bike and realize that tree is coming up too fast. The moment you make eye contact with that special someone and understand that you both love one another. Even that time when the exact words your mother used to say to you comes out of your own mouth to your children are the moments that make up our lives. But what about those moments that "everything comes down to"? The launch of a project; the opening of the curtain, the swing for the victory; these moments define our lives. Or do they? As "A Work in Progress" sometimes the moment right after the "moment" are the biggest moments of them all.
This past weekend I enjoyed watching a match between the masters of golf, and my favorite moments were those in between the big strokes. After many swings these men stared down at a missed opportunity, a less than ideal situation, a failure. In these moments I am sure that the "What ifs" tried to join the game. "What if I had adjusted my stance?" "What if I had followed through a bit more on my swing?" "What if I had chosen another club?" These "What ifs" and more like them, I am sure, tried to take control over "in between" moments.
Golf, like many sports, professions, or competitions is a test of wills. The "wills" of: "Will I give up?" "Will I learn?" and "Will I believe? These are powerful questions that contenders for victory face in moments of play. But for champions, the answers to the "Will I...?" questions must be predetermined. A player is one who answers the "Will I...?" questions in the moment, but a winner is one who answered those questions before the game ever began.
Acting like you have been there before displays character as well as skill. My husband encourages our children to "Act like you have been there before" when it comes to winning. His desire is for them to represent God and our family with honor by being a gracious champion. But as I reflected on what I had seen from these professional golfers this phrase, "Act like you have been there before" revealed a champion skill. Because "Act like you have been there before" reveals a disciplined character as well as a disciplined ability. When a person has "been there before" he knows how he will react before that moment arrives. His character is settled. His ability is developed. Therefore if he misses in the moment his demeanor is not unsettle and his skill is not doubted. He knows that he can. He is teachable. He believes he can do what needs to be done, because he has taken action to prepare before that moment.
Champions do not wait for the moment in the master competition to determine if the "What ifs?" out play the "Will Is?" Champions have already played through the "What ifs?" so the "Will Is?" are no longer in question. As "A Work in Progress" in order to move forward, we must practice through our "What ifs?" so when the big moments come we can move passed them whether it be a win or a loss. This is when the moments leading up to our wins become just as important as the one's right after them. Because determination is developed in a collection of moments, even though it maybe revealed in just one - which can sometimes be the one moment, right after the moment that everything came down to.
"I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me."
(Phil. 4:13 NKJV)