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.
– Phil 3:13-14
Our church is working through the book of Phillippeans. As is customary for God, the series is hitting me right where I am. Yesterday was the second half of chapter 3.
With all the swirl of change and trials in my life this word spoke again to repoint me to the Lord. I do need to lay aside the past, both joys and sorrows, and focus on the Lord.
Whenever I read this passage I often think of my first days behind the wheel of my dad’s big Plymouth Fury. My dad was a very patient man who emphasized over and over “always look forward”. “Always keep your eye forward as you drive”. “Don;t get distracted” “It is important to keep your focus forward because whatever you focus on is where you will steer toward. Look at a tree and you will hit it!”
In those days I must have made Dad crazy with the thought that a 16 year old would be entrusted with the family’s only form of transportation I was easily distracted, lacked coordination, and became flustered at simple commands. So, fast forward several decades and driving is second nature. But his advice has taken on a very practical application to life in general. What you focus on you will drive toward.
Getting back to the passage it is significant to remember we live on this side of eternity – we are still traveling to our eternal home. It is easy to get sideline or sidetracked by the world around us, but that is where the fight intesifies… we must determine to fix our eyes on Jesus, focus on his word and follow his commands. Fix, Focus, Follow. I can still hear my father’s words “keep your eyes forward, don;t get distracted”. May this be my prayer always.