Friday, May 1, 2009

Forget About the Future?

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 3:13-15 NIV

Did you make New Year’s resolutions? You’ve decided to lose weight, learn a language, find a significant other, start voice lessons, stop bad habits, exercise more, or clean the garage. Most people forget or break their resolutions within two weeks of making them.

Recently, a song which had been just background noise, arrested me with the line, “Forget about the future, let’s get on with the past.”

That’s pretty anti-committal and unwilling to face the uncertainty of the unknown. But how many of us have done that? (Over and over?) Don’t raise your hands—we’re all pretty obvious. All right, let’s not forget about the future, or get on with the past, but maybe we could concentrate on the present at least?

That never-say-die apostle wrote, “Forgetting what is behind [the past] and straining toward what is ahead [the future], I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.”

Straining toward the future! Every morning at 5:30, my Border collie acts like a Siberian husky, pulling me along, choking in her eagerness to sniff the next tree in the parkway. There’s high tension in that leash, as I drowsily stumble along behind, mumbling, “Slow down, doggie! It’s too early to be enthusiastic.”

The thought that God wants me to strain toward what is ahead is a hard teaching. We all tend to “think differently,” but God intends to make it clear that instead of our being a reluctant Jonah, He wants us to take the path of least resistance to Him. God will lead us toward the goal and its prize. And it seems clear from His Word that He wants us to forget the past and get on with the future. If there’s no tension on your spiritual collar, you’re not really straining. Where is God leading today? Get out there, and pull like a working dog!

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