"I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 3: 10-14 NIV
Humans tend to get stuck. It seems to be part of our DNA--the way we operate in this world. We fixate on certain things, We think about them too much. Sometimes we begin cycling about them--spinning on a merry-go-round that goes nowhere. When we finally hop off, we have not made any progress, but we do feel dizzy and slightly nauseous.
I find myself spinning on all sorts of things; mistakes I've made, stupid things I've said and done, opportunities I've missed--weird ways I handled tough situations. Whatever the merry-go-round horse might look like, I've certainly been on it, wasting my time and energy.
That's why I love the fact that Paul speaks to the issue of pressing on. Certainly, Paul had to move forward from many things--he was a Pharisee of the first order, a legalistic pedagogue, and a cheerleader at the stoning of Stephen. We're not sure if murder was on his rap sheet before Jesus spoke to him on the road to Damascus. We do know when God told Ananias to go visit him, the prophet had a slight panic attack!
Paul and I, and many of us, share something--the need to move on. The Israelites needed it too. After they've been released from Eygpt, as they stand by the banks of the Red Sea, they get stuck. They crab to Moses; "Why did you bring us to the wilderness to die? Weren't there enough graves for us in Egypt?" Moses brings their cries before the Lord. God quickly and simply replies. In the NIRV version of Exodus 14:15, He says, "Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people of Israel to move on!"
In Philippians 3, Paul graciously shares how to move on. First we must forget what is behind us--our failures, defeats, frustrations, and frailties. Then we focus on the hope of Jesus has ahead for us, giving our all as we strain toward it in faith. Therein lies the ultimate prize--the ability to move forward in a deeper, closer relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ. This prize is not a destination at all, but instead, a beautiful forward-moving journey.
What do you tends to make you spin?
In that context, what do you need to forget about and leave behind?
Have you asked God to help you move on?