Revising History With Grace

University of Kentucky vs Duke 1992.
Considered by many to be the greatest basketball game ever played.
I can’t watch it.  Too painful.  Bad ending.
I will never ever watch it.
Those final seconds, the replay of the shot made by “he who must not be named”
will make any UK fan scramble to find a remote any time it pops up during a college basketball broadcast.
As a high school senior in 1986, my high school team made our school’s first ever appearnce
in the state basketball tournament in Rupp Arena.  Thrill of a lifetime for a kid in a basketball
crazy state.  I’ve always had a copy of our first round (and only) game on VHS and recently had
it copied to DVD.  But I never watched it.  Too painful, worst game ever, no desire to watch a game
that left me with years of memories of letting down my school and teammates.
27 years later, I finally sat down and watched the game in it’s entirety. Conclusion:  I didn’t stink as bad in that particular game or as a player as it has lived on for all these
years as a faulty memory.  Was I scarred for life by a faulty perception of the past?
Of course not.
But it reminds me that when we look back at our worst moments, others don’t remember them quite as well
or as critically as we do.
Christians still fail too often to fully accept God’s grace; to live boldly for Him moving forward
…..because we are hindered by shame, inability to let go of the past, and an inability (or unwillingness)
to forgive ourselves and others.  We must accept God’s grace.
 But also we need to remember that just because God forgives us doesn’t mean that the times we have wronged others are forgiven and forgotten.  This is one case where we may need to take steps backward before we can move forward.
Our misdeeds may become insignificant over time compared to the fact that we have failed to apologize,
admit fault, or show any signs of remorse or peacemaking.
Matthew 6:15 “But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
Forgive yourself, forgive others.  I can’t waste time waiting for an apology from others but I should
always consider if someone is due one from me.
We can’t change the past but we can deal with past
mistakes in a way that improves relationships moving forward.  
We can’t live in the past but we can surely clean it up.
Mend fences today,
from mistakes of the past
for better relationships tomorrow.
Stop littering the landscape of your past with “Laettners” (things that are so horrible, you want to push them from your mind).
Start make better endings today,
Forgive and be forgiven.
The next time one of the kids that I coach asks me if I was a good basketball player,
my answer will change from “nah, I sucked” to “I was decent.”
And I will NEVER watch the 92 Duke game!
That is a part of my past that I still struggle to make peace with.

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