Season of Meditation Entry 2

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 3:13-14)

This is a familiar verse to me. But in bringing it up on Sunday morning in my message, I was touching on something in myself that God was doing. "Forgetting what is behind." Here is some of my meditation on the passage from my evening meditation and study.

I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it - If Paul could just finish boasting on his credentials, what is it that I have to boast about. And how could I think so highly of myself if Paul considered that he had not taken full grasp on the things God has given him in Christ... Consider - to think or hold the opinion. I am such a worker person. I like to do for better than I like to think about. I prefer decisions made in the throws of service than ones made sterilely (I'm not sure this is a word...) in advance. Even in my passion for planning, I generally get the big picture, gather the supplies and decide on the spot how it will all come together. Maybe what I "consider" is not well enough thought about. So what do I consider myself. (Here comes true confession - pride and all) I consider myself "the man with the plan." I consider myself right... generally. I consider myself to have come in short of my goals... OK, generally having failed. I consider myself... hmmm. Taken hold of - Too much stuff. Cursed materialism! Not enough of the power of God available to me. Not enough of his wisdom. Not enough of His plan. Not enough of his outrageous love. Too much of his grace.

Forgetting what is behind - Well in 2008, I feel like I lost friendships. I think I did not grow personally... very much. I think I spent money poorly. I think I lead ineffectively. I think I gave too little and used too much. I wish I had more proud things behind. Forgetting - "To have no memory of." I know what that feels like. When I forget to call someone back. When I forget where I put my keys. When I forget what I went to the store for. I usually forget when I have put my brain power to work on something else. Surely that will be the key to forgetting what is behind. Put my brain power to use on something besides blaming or beating myself up. On something beside compensating for those failures or proving that they don't define me.

Pressing on toward the goal for which Christ has called me heavenward - Well there are the things I should be using my brain power for. 1. Guiding fellow Christ-followers toward fruitful Christian living. 2. Developing a community of believers that adequately love God and serve the world He loves. 3. Sharing the light of God with people in my own life, and not just the people in our "church". (The church is my own life, but there is such a blur of profession, ministry, and personal calling that it is necessary for me to share my faith in another way in order to be vibrant in my sense of responding directly to God instead of responding to my job description... or people's expectations... or my professional goals.)

Win the prize - What is the prize? In myself I wish the prize were a big church with a big paycheck. A big house. (ouch!) But really the prize that I should fix my eyes on is closer union with Christ. As much of a friendship person as I think I am, you would think this connection would be high on my list of desires. I want it to be higher. I don't think of Him enough. I don't pray continually as I think I could in order be close to Him. The prize - Christ now and forever.



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