Thursday, August 5, 2010

Straining Forward

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. 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 a great 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 costs them medal placing.

Forgetting “stuff” that has happened in the past is tough. Like Christian in Pilgrim’s Progress I tend to carry it around with me even though the weight digs into my spirit. When I am bowed by the hurts, fears, betrayals, misunderstandings, rejections of my life it’s impossible to see any future beauty.
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.

With every pulsing muscle and disciplined breath athletes strain forward. They never look back. The goal is ahead, not behind them. This is the life of an ardent Jesus follower!

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.

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