Tuesday, March 19, 2024

A Good Start Matters

I can remember it like it was yesterday. It was my sixth-grade field day when all the elementary schools gathered for a series of track and field events at the town’s high school track. It was a sunny New England spring morning and I was representing Glen Forest Elementary School in the 50-yard dash. There were several preliminary heats before the final and only the top finishers would move on to the next round. In one of my proudest athletic accomplishments of my young life I went on to win that preliminary round. I can still remember breaking the tape at the finish line and being congratulated by my classmates. It was pure joy. I had advanced to the finals.

After a short break, the qualifiers lined up for the finals. We waited for the gun to sound to start the race. Visions of glory swept through my mind when I heard the firing of the gun and the race began. But tragedy struck! As I began my acceleration, instead of my feet propelling me forward, my shoes kicked up gravel from the track and I found myself face first on the ground as the others sped forward to the finish line. As quickly as possible, I got to my feet and enthusiastically tried to catch up, but my poor start had doomed me to a last place finish.

No one can know how I would have done had I not slipped, but one thing I learned from that experience is how important it is to get off to a good start.

Every day is a 50-yard dash of sorts. We have people to see, tasks to accomplish, calls to make. Add to that the unexpected events that will pop up along the way. How we handle our day can largely depend on how we start our day.  If we get off to a bad start, try as we might, we could very well find ourselves coming in last. If we get off to a good start, we undoubtedly will increase our probability of success.

If we want our interactions with people to be constructive; if we want to accomplish our tasks with gracefulness and proficiency; if we want to leave behind a trail of joy and peace wherever we go it is vital to start the day well.

Here are some ideas:

  1. Wake up each day realizing that today is a gift from God that will never come again. Once today is gone, you can never relive it.
  2. Commit your day to the Lord. You are only here because God has created you to be here. The day is His, not yours.
  3. Pray for the specific tasks you have that day and the specific people you will interact with. Begin the day by intentionally bringing goodness and optimism into every task and every interaction you will have. Pray that you can gracefully handle those unexpected tasks and encounters.
  4. Spend at least a little time in the Word. Allow God to speak truth to you as you live is a world that too often lies.

Start your day well and increase your chance of victory!


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