“One thing I do: forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.”
– Philippians 3:13-14
As competitors, it is critical that we maintain our focus. All too often, we have watched coaches and athletes become content with past accomplishment. It is so easy to think that we have “arrived.” Media experts are always predicting the outcome of the coming season. They analyze all the data and project what teams and players will have the best season. Many of these predictions are based on how the team finished last year or how many returning players are on the current roster. It’s easy for teams to get lulled into a true sense of security and take their eyes off the objective. Every year we see teams go into the season with great hopes, only to fall sort of those lofty expectations.
The apostle Paul warns us of this trap. He was a man of single purpose and his focus was on one aim and ambition. Paul tells us to forget what is in the past. He is not only talking about our sins and failures, but our successes as well. Too often, we think that we have “arrived” spiritually. I’m a good Christian. I go to church; I serve other in my community; I pray. Like the athlete, we can lose our focus too. When we take our eyes off Jesus, we are setting ourselves up for a huge fall. The prize we are competing for is our salvation and the opportunity to live for eternity with Christ. To obtain the prize requires not only focus, but our very best effort. We must discipline ourselves to stretch, strain, and strive every day to reach this goal. The prize is worth the effort.
Father, thank you for the blessings you provide each day. Keep me focused Lord, as I seek to live for you each day. Push me, prod me, and stretch me to grow in your love today. Amen.