Last Sunday at Northland we dove head first and fully clothed into Paul’s letter to the Philippians. Today I’m leaning back into a part of that letter:
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.
(Phil. 3: 10-14 NIV)
What does it look like for me, in 2015, to live my life in such a way that I am forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead? How do I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus? I expect these are questions I’ll be asking and answering all year, not in one euphoric moment of declaration under the influence of holiday foods and lights and such.
Today, though, it means not letting past failures (of which there have been plenty) keep me from trying again because I am not defined by what I have failed to do or what I have done unwisely, rebelliously, or in a fearful panic. I am defined by the One whose love for me is not dependent on my ability to meet expectations. I am defined by the One on whom I am dependent and who is perfectly, graciously dependable. He has called me and I choose to follow.
Today, I let yesterday’s rain and snow and leaves and tears fall gracefully. Today, I keep my face turned toward the author of my faith who is also the finisher of my faith. As I run this race (another of Paul’s images), I want to look (metaphorically, of course) like the silly retriever puppy I saw yesterday galloping toward freedom and life, ears and air flapping carelessly behind, and eyes alight with hope.