The title alone sounds heavy, and to be honest, for most of us it probably is. In “Win the Day”, Mark Batterson describes how it is inevitable that you will encounter pain and suffering during your lifetime. However, you don’t have to be a prisoner to your past. “Dead yesterdays” represents past pain, suffering, loss, grief, failures, shame, guilt, or any other negative experience that may be holding you back from truly living your life. Burying dead yesterdays doesn’t mean that you push the pain to a small corner of your brain never to be dealt with again. On the contrary, you can only bury your dead yesterdays when you confront and own the pain that you suffer from. One of the habits you can put into practice to bury your dead yesterdays is to flip the script of your life.
Everyone has a signature story or theme. These stories can be negative or positive, and they will have an impact on the way you see your life. It may be surprising to hear that for almost two decades my signature story was that I was an atheist. I actually grew up in church. You know the kind—wooden pews, stained glass windows, “peace be with you,” fancy white robes, religion over relationship. I didn’t have any relationship with God during that time. By the time I was 8, I was certain that I didn’t believe in Him. I continued to tell myself that same story for 19 more years. Even during the end of my years as an atheist, I clung to that story as if it were attached to my body because without it, I would have to find a new signature story. Who would I be?
Batterson says, “if you want to change your life, start by changing your story.” You change your story in two ways: behaviorally and conceptually. Changing your behavior is pretty self-explanatory – start doing things you didn’t do before or stop doing things you’ve always done before. Conceptual change is evidenced by the rewriting of your story. In other words, you flip the script and begin to tell a new story about your life.
I’m thankful that even when I walked away from God, He didn’t walk away from me. Looking back now, He put people in my life to act as conduits to bring me closer to Him. My path to becoming a believer started with a change in my behavior. In May 2019, I agreed to go with my friend to the 7:15 service at iTech. I took what is said at the end of every service to heart, and I just kept coming back. I started to attend VOUS every Sunday, be in community, and inspect the Bible. All of these acts are the types of behavioral changes that Batterson references. However, the true rewriting of my story did not occur until July 2019 when I accepted Jesus as my savior.
My acceptance of Jesus rewrote my signature story – it was conceptual change. In that moment, I was admitting that I was no longer an atheist. Flipping the script on my life did not stop there though. In order to grow in my relationship with Jesus, I had to confront my dead yesterdays and bury them. I had to repent and make changes to my life that conformed with my new signature story. Each day I make choices and take actions to live in my new story, rather than be held back by old ones. Flipping the script can happen with anything in your life, as long as you’re willing to put in the work one day at a time. By doing so, you win the day.