Press On to the High Calling of God
Brethren,I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (NKJV)
An athlete has to get used to many things. He or she has to discipline himself or herself, to hard work, to exercise, to eat right, to show up on time for practices, and to be disciplined all the way around. An athlete also has to get used to loosing, and the feelings of failure, but not defeat. An athlete also has to get used to winning and not dwelling so much in the success that he or she forgets to practice and eat right, and show up on time for practice, and all of those things.
Olympic gold-medallist speed skater, Dan Jansen, said "When people think of me, I would like to be remembered as someone who never gave up. I never lost hope, but more importantly, I skated my best, not only when I won the gold medal, but also those times when I fell or was beaten. Each time it was the same for me; it was the best I had to give."*
Dan Jansen knew the secret of success here. The secret of success is moving forward, not dwelling on the glory of the past, and getting so focused on that that we forget to do today what we need to do to KEEP ourselves being successful. Nor did he dwell on the past failures and become defeated, but he kept doing his best each time.
The Apostle Paul put it this way in Philippians, chapter 3:13-14; "Brethren,I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Paul knew that glorying in success and thinking 'well, when I was young...it was this way for me, or when I was back in the earlier days, I did this and this and this.' Paul could have done that for he was quite a success in his career, but he didn't. Nor did he get hung up on the defeats and the failures. He kept straining each day toward living in godliness with the desire to become more like Christ, and following His leadership.
Are you hung up, my friend, in living in past defeats or failures? Set those things aside; learn from them, leave them behind, and move forward. Are you dwelling in the success of the past, and living in the past so much that you are forgetting to do today what you need to do? I encourage you. Keep your eyes upward and on the high calling of God to live your life in righteousness and right living; and live as Paul did, straining each day to move forward for the prize of the high-calling of God in Christ Jesus.
By Dr. Ann Shorb
* A HERO IN EVERY HEART, page 93; Thomas Nelson Publishers
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