“. . . 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” (Philippians 3:13,14).
MAKING A MORE COURAGEOUS CONNECTION BETWEEN TODAY AND TOMORROW IS NEITHER IMPOSSIBLE NOR IMPRACTICAL. Rather than stumble aimlessly toward the future in defeat, we can concentrate our minds on what God has made possible for us in His Son. And with our minds firmly fixed on God, we can reach forward with purpose and passion. Hope and courage and self-discipline can be the qualities that define us in the here and now.
Forgetting those things which are behind. There is a sense in which we need to “forget” the past. This does not mean that our memories are erased; it simply means that we release what has already happened. Many good things we may remember with gladness and many bad things we may remember with wisdom, but these memories must not confine us or keep us from our work.
Reaching forward to those things which are ahead. The things which are “ahead,” of course, are spiritual things, things that have to do with God and with eternity. If these are to be ours, we must “reach forward.” Exerting ourselves with regard to eternity must be our decision and our commitment. We will not move forward (at least in any significant sense) if we do not reach forward.
The apostle Paul was not a dabbler. God was more than merely one of his “interests.” This “one thing I do,” he wrote. “I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Here is the single-minded determination that separates the real seeker from the casual browser. Here is the consuming hunger and thirst that will find God or die. And here also is the courageous choice to look primarily toward the future rather than the past. What’s in store for those who are willing to love God faithfully is beyond our ability to imagine just now. But since the beginning, everything that God has made known of Himself has made one thing increasingly clear: He is worth reaching for. In truth, He is the very best thing about tomorrow.
“Make Him the Source, the Center, and the One who encompasses every delight of your soul. Refuse to be satisfied any longer with your meager accomplishments. Aspire to a higher, a nobler, and a fuller life. Upward to heaven! Nearer to God!” (Charles Haddon Spurgeon).