New Beginnings

April 18, 2017

No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing:
Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,
I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize
for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.

– Philippians 3:13-14

There is something magical about the beginning of a new season of Major League baseball. Stadiums are packed with enthusiastic fans; memories of days gone by are relived as former greats throw out the first pitch; and everyone puts aside the disappointments of the previous season and replaces them with the endless possibilities of what the new season will bring. New beginnings and a fresh start! As an Atlanta Braves fan, this translates into pumped up fans cheering wildly as Henry Aaron throws a soft toss to Bobby Cox at home plate and the umpire yells, “Play Ball!” Gone is the frustration of a last place finish, replaced with an optimism brought on by a new lineup of players and the hope that they bring. Winter is over, Spring is here. We don’t know exactly where we are going, but we are excited to begin the journey. Playoffs and championships are the focus of every player and every team.

Every day in the life of a Christ-follower should be a little like Opening Day. We never quite arrive, yet we get up every day with a single purpose—the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. With our focus on Jesus, we forget yesterday’s failures and strive for the things that the new day brings. We dwell in the hope, privileges and responsibilities that come with the Christian life and the opportunities we have to worship and serve Him. It takes tremendous effort, but the prize is worth striving for. Each new day with Christ brings endless possibilities. We may not know exactly where we are going, but we should be excited about the journey. Stay focused, keep your eyes on the prize—Jesus Christ!

Father, I am excited about today, because You are my focus. Teach me to put my yesterdays behind me and to keep my eyes on the only prize worthy of pursuing—Your upward call in Christ Jesus. Amen.

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