"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1:14

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Press On

On our recent trip to Cali, we passed through parts of 5 states. We saw many types of scenery each day...variations on the desert theme, mountain landscapes, palms, pinions, dramatic rock formations, even Las Vegas rising like a gaudy lady of the night in the unlikely surroundings of a barren landscape. We stopped in a smaller town to be nourished by pool, spa and buffet. For many, this little stop in Mesquite, Nevada was the final destination of their journey. For us, Mesquite represented a milepost along the way, but it was not our destination. While we were clearly no longer in Colorado, we had not yet arrived.

The Apostle Paul speaks of a similar dynamic in his walk with Christ. He lays out the unsurpassed joy and fulfillment of knowing Christ in Philippians 3:7-11. Then he makes sure his readers know what he knows, that he has not yet arrived:

"Not that I have already attained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, 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 3:12-14

Like travelers on their way to a destination, Paul knows that he has not yet fully attained his goal: To know Christ, to emulate Christ, to become all Christ wants him to be. He strains toward it with unswerving focus. He will not be satisfied with some lukewarm approximation of the real thing in his life.

Mesquite is okay. Sitting in the hot tub under the sunset, with chattering Mexican Grackles making their nests in the palms overhead, while a sliver of moon arose over the desert mountains, it was not hard to see why some would stop there. How different our trip would have been had we settled for this midpoint in our destination. We would have missed standing on cliffs overlooking the vast Pacific surrounded by lush gardens and the music of surf and gulls.

Keep your eye on the destination. Like Paul, forget what is behind and lean forward to fall head over heals in love with Jesus, becoming him to those around you, absorbed with this goal so that all else pales by comparison, overwhelmed with joy.

He has more in mind for you. He truly has your eternal best interest at heart. Press on!

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