The Things Left Behind

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 Philippians 3:13


Often when we think of this scripture the image that comes to our minds is of leaving behind the hurts, bitterness and disappointments of our past and pressing on to a bright future. But what Paul was leaving behind was not difficulty and disappointment, but rather comfort, respect and success. While what lay ahead of him were, struggles, persecution and death. Yet Paul faced these challenges of his life with courage, hope and compassion for those under his care. He did not sulk in the corner or slink away from the race in shame. Instead of giving up, Paul focused on the finish line.

I hold in my memory banks a scene from long ago when I ran on our high school track team. Though I was not a good runner I determined that I would always cross the finish line. Often I was dead last!  My position in the race and seeming lack of progress were outweighed for me by a single factor: there at the finish line stood my coach, waiting for me and cheering me on. I would pick my head up and look down the track and remember how coach always told us, “Run through the tape not to it!”

So if today your race seems hopeless, and to all outward appearances you are not achieving life’s most important goals, take your eyes off your feet as you run and look ahead.  There at the end of your race, Jesus is watching and cheering you on! Run your race for a goal that lies in heaven, with eternal our coach,Jesus Christ of Nazareth! , He was the one who fired off the starting pistol both at gate and is standing, holding the tape at the finish line!

Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heav’n and home,
When Jesus is my portion? My constant Friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

His Eye is On the Sparrow by Civilla Martin

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