Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Goal Straining

But one thing I do: “forgetting what lies behind
and straining forward to what lies ahead, I
press on toward the goal…

Philippians 3:13b-14a

Athletes are perfect illustrations for how God wants us to live life as a Jesus follower. Endurance, strength, character, perseverance, discipline are just part of what makes up a world class athlete. But the ability to put behind them past failures or mishaps and focus on the ultimate goal is the perfect example for a Jesus follower. Ice skaters may take a tumble in the middle of a gold medal program but so far I’ve never seen one skate off the ice—they always get up; focusing on the goal even if the fall has cost them.

Forgetting “stuff” that has happened in the past is tough. Like Christian in Pilgrim’s Progress we carry it around with us even though the weight digs into our spirit. When we are bowed by the hurts, fears, betrayals, misunderstandings, rejections of our lives it’s impossible to see any of the beauty that lies ahead.

Jesus had a lot of “stuff” happen to him. From the start people were out for his blood. He was misunderstood. He was rejected. Friends denied knowing him. Betrayal led to his ultimate death. But, he never looked back nor did he carry any baggage. He kept the goal of the Kingdom in sight and, in order to reach it, he kept moving forward.

The next time the Olympics come around, think about the spiritual parallels. With every pulsing muscle and disciplined breath they strain forward. They never look back. The goal is ahead, not behind them.

Jesus, your life is a comfort and an inspiration. You know
the “stuff” I keep lugging around.
Forgive me! Take from me everything that keeps me from reaching You.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yesterday, I had a conversation with a saleswoman. I ended up inviting her to join my Bible Study in the fall as she began to open up to me about "letting go" of something that someone had done to her at work. She knows the Lord and knows what she should do. We talked about some of the very things you described in today's blog. She commented that it seemed as if the Lord sent me to her to talk. Now, it seems that the Lord is reinforcing the conversation--as I forwarded your blog to her this morning. It is so excited to experience the hand of God!