“I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Crist Jesus first possessed me. 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 3:12-14 NLT
So what exactly is Paul saying? Here’s the way it can be perceived:
“I get it, you’ve accomplished some things, or well for others of you you’ve been through some things. Cool. I understand but I’m looking forward, pressing on, working towards, striving for, reaching out earnestly to become something much more valuable or worthy of my attention and praise. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that I have that ‘thing’ yet but I’m not letting myself get caught up in whatever has happened before. I’m focusing on what’s ahead. I am not just looking forward to any particular goal but that which GOD through CHRIST JESUS Himself is making possible for me to achieve.”
Does that make it clear? Look I understand we all have been through some things. Each of us on our journeys have walked through crap, climbed up certain hills, met certain people, achieved certain things…good and bad, and the reality is we all have history. It’s history though. It can inform aspects of the present and provide context but it is still the past. Too many of us provide history opportunities to be present (yep, think on that).
God spoke through Paul to you and me. He made sure to remind us that the only thing that matters is the prize before us. What is your prize? Is it money? Is it fame? Is it temporal and therefore extinguishable and without meaningful value? Because if it is those things then I can tell you now, it’s not really worth it. Those things will vanish with time but you know what won’t? Eternity. That prize that Paul speaks of, what God wants to give to each of us through Christ Jesus is eternity. Eternity is a future worth focusing on. When you place eternity in your crosshairs and make it your singular focus a lot of other things are placed in perspective: people, places, jobs, money, and I even dare say relationships. Don’t get me wrong, the past has significance in each of our lives. But how much value are you going to place in things that cannot be changed? Focus on Christ, keep the Cross before you, look ahead and push on, fight hard, and look square at that prize laid before you by God himself.
Love and God Bless,