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Forward Thinking

No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not as I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the and of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven.
- Philippians 3:13-14, nlt
More than dwelling on past failures and triumphs, I want to look forward to "what's next", and ultimately to what really matters at the end of it all. Paul, in his letter to the Philippian church, reminds them of his imperfection, and of his constant desire to press forward towards the goal, the prize. I want to be like that - the past pushing me forward, instead of the past holding us back.

The problem is that I don't know what lies ahead, what's just around the bend. I know God's there, already preparing the premises in some sovereign way / shape / form. If I knew what was coming, would I act differently? Would I make better choices, different choices? What is time, that moves so slowly yet so resolutely forward without asking us our opinions, our suggestions, our dreams or our plans? Eternity intersects right now - and is gone right now - and is potential right now. And we press on in spite of ourselves, hoping tomorrow will be better. Optimism, pessimism, realism - all going forward one minute at a time, day by glorious day.

What does it mean to me to really press on? It means not letting today's mistakes hold me back tomorrow. It means not letting tomorrow's troubles keep me from living life today. It means don't worry, be happy - life's too short to spend it anxiously awaiting trouble, so let's make the best of it and... press on. Wow, this post showed such potential at the beginning. Somewhere in the middle, it twisted into something less than Pollyanna, something a bit more than Chicken Little. That's what "pressing on" feels like to me.


Blogger Lyn said...

It means, for me, not getting stuck on stupid. The past is the past. We can't ignore it, but we can't get stuck there either. Thanks for thinking outloud.
Lyn at Thought Renewal and my other blog, Fwd: Thoughts.

28/9/05 9:45 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

"not getting stuck on stupid" - i'm going to steal that one :)

28/9/05 9:48 AM  
Blogger The Cubicle Reverend said...

I think it's a problem many of us have, but are unwilling to discuss. That fear or whatever of what lies ahead. But one thing I have to remind myself is remembering how christ said, "Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow worries enough on it's own, do not say tomorrow I'll go here and there, but if it's God's will I'll go here and there." (or something like that.) Perhaps, it isn't optimism we should be having, but hope?

28/9/05 10:29 AM  
Blogger Britt's Blog said...

Pressing on to me is not trying to focus on "impending doom" and it's about constantly keeping your eyes on the prize. Sure things are going to happen that throw us a curve ball or knock us off the track we thought we were on, but hope is what is going to keep us pressing on. Hope in our God who promises to keep our paths straight, hope in knowing that this life doesn't have to be and ISN'T about me, hope in knowing that as long as we keep running the race with the faith that we will be protected and provided for. And finally hope in knowing that everything in this life is temporary and one day we will face our Father and hopefully hear him say "Great job my child, you fought a good fight and you did it for my glory. Welcome home!"
Pressing on should be about facing our circumstances head on instead of shying away from them and taking the safe road. One of my favorite quotes that I have hanging above my computer keeps me pressing on daily..."People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the ones who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can't find them, make them."
Thanks for an awesome entry Rick! Press on!!

28/9/05 11:46 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

glad that sparked so much thought :) - i'll have some follow-up later this week, from my own sparks.

28/9/05 10:25 PM  
Blogger Tana_Schott said...

Rick - this is my number one problem in my walk. And I think it is talked about too little, like the Rev said. Amen and amen.

29/9/05 3:45 PM  

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