When I was in high school, I went out for the basketball team because after years of playing in my driveway, I could dribble and shoot like a pro. Or, at least, I thought so. What I quickly discovered is that raw talent is no substitute for hard work and years of being coached. While I sat on the bench, it was the guys who knew where to be and what to do when they didn’t have the ball that got to play.
Since then, I’ve learned that persistence is the key to success in almost everything. Oftentimes, it’s not the person who has the most natural ability who achieves the most, but the one who keeps learning and growing and never quits. Listening to a good coach helps, too.
The author and naturalist Hal Borland once wrote, “Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.” In other words, in this new year, we don’t start over, we carry on – learning from our past experience, listening to our Lord, and “pressing on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Jesus Christ.” (Phil. 3:14)