Have you ever paid attention to an interesting fact about driving a car…The size of the windshield compared to the size of the rear view mirror! I mean think about it for a minute. The windshield is huge, and expensive I might add from personal experience. The rear view mirror on the other hand is pretty small, in fact about the size of your hand. When we drive we spend the majority of our time using the windshield. Seeing what is ahead of us, looking forward to what is to come.
Sadly when it comes to our walk as Christians we approach life in the complete opposite of driving a car. To many times we spend more time looking in the rearview mirror. We focus on our failings, our regrets, or mistakes, our shame. We spend more time looking to the past and let the past continue to effect and control how we live! As Christians this is the last thing we should do.
Philippians 3:13-14 “…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.”
Forget it! That is what we are supposed to do with the past! Yes we should learn from our past whether good or bad but we shouldn’t focus on it, keep digging it up, or letting it hold us back!
Ask yourself this question…”How different would my life be if I “forgot” my past?” Would it impact our thoughts, our actions, our relationships?
If you need some encouragement in the area of forgetfulness look no farther than Hebrews 8:12 “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” Our Lord and Savior forgives us of our sins and He forgets them! Maybe it is time you follow His lead and forget your own! I am betting our anchor to the past is our sins and guilt, sins that are forgiven and forgotten! Let Go!
After we forget the past we are supposed to turn our focus to the windshield, “…straining toward what is ahead, I press on…”
Straining, not a word that sounds very pleasant or that we really want to do probably! The simple definition of the word shows what it should really mean, “unusually great effort.” That is how we as Christians should move forward! We should be excited that we can look forward with hope! We should put all we can into the new life we have in Christ. The phrase “press on” goes right along with that. To press on means to “pursue with earnestness and diligence in order to obtain or go after with the desire of obtaining.”
For Christians what is ahead of us? Eternity! Eternity with Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior! That is so wonderful and so amazing to think about! “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Our prize is being called Home. Spending eternity with Jesus! We don’t have to earn it, it was earned by Jesus on the cross. It should be our focus and what we strain towards with great effort! It should be what we pursue after!
I think about how hard some people strain or press on towards “success.” A better job, a nicer house, more money, being better at a sport. What would our lives be like, and how would lives around us be impacted if we strained after and pressed on living out our life with eternity in mind with the same dedication and desire we put toward earthy things that will soon fade away.