“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. All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.” (Philippians 3:13-15)
I use to love driving.. Seriously! My friends and I would just get in the car and drive, heading nowhere. Sometimes these drives would be filled with conversation, other times just the music on the radio speaking to our souls. During these trips we were just focused on the road ahead, not really paying attention to what we had passed, or what was behind us, because it really didn’t matter. We were just glad to be together. We would just listen to the next song, maybe looking at the stars in the night sky, wondering what was really out there. Conversations would drift from UFO’s to God, as the Creator of the Universe, to what our lives might look like further down the road of life.
I am older now, and driving for me is not what it was. I drive now to get somewhere, to take someone somewhere, to get something, or to accomplish something. Driving now is not a recreation but a chore, and now I am constantly checking my mirrors to see who is around me and where I have been.. Is this not our walk in Christ??
We are given a front windshield to look out while we drive. It is big, with a clear view of everything in front of us, while we are given a little rectangle mirror to see who, or what, is behind us.. We have side windows that aren’t as big, but bigger than the mirrors we use to check our sides. A medium back window is given so we can check and see what is behind us as we back up. All are needed for a safe journey and each play a part of our drive. Without the use of any of these we are blinded in certain areas, and even with them we still have blind spots.
The size of each is given to better benefit our view for what is most given attention to, or should be given to, the front.. The front, which we should spend 85-90% of our time seeing where we are going, followed by the sides and rear, to check for safety and potential dangers. But to often we have had our attention drawn to those lesser areas, pulling us away from that which is in Front. Away from “the Goal that is set before us”, away from us moving forward.. So easily are we distracted.
For so many we get stuck looking at what is behind us. We stare at the rearview mirror looking at all the things we have left behind, those things that in our past have hurt us. These things take our focus off of where we are going and leave us not paying attention to what’s ahead. All to often things in our past let that air out of our tires, wither by a slow deflate, or a complete blowout, we start loosing control of our vehicle so we have to drive slower to the point of pulling off the road. If we do not remove the object that has cause the air to go out, fix the tire, or replace is with a new one, we will be stuck where we are, again not moving forward.
God does not leave us there.. He will send people our way, as will satan. Some may stop and try to help, but too often we get stuck on telling them our problem, showing them the tire, not ever receiving their help. Some people with misguided intentions, will come and point out the problem with the tire, not to help, but just to point out our problem.
Others will tell us to focus on the 3 good ones not paying attention to the one that is flat. But this too will leave us stranded and misguided. It is only in Christ that we can find “Grace to help in time of need.” For He “restores our souls and leads us in the path of righteousness.”
So, what about the side windows and mirrors? Too often we start looking at those that are driving beside us and start comparing.. our cars, ourselves, wither we know them or not. Our speed. Our looks… We just compare.. As we are driving we can start trying to gain the attention of those around us. (Or they may try to gain our attention.) It could be on purpose, or by our wandering eyes. Our focus gets off where we are going and on to those next to us, distracting us. It could be the lust of the opposite sex, or just what they are doing to get our attention. In doing so, we are no longer focusing down the road as much as we are side to side, causing us to swerve and drive erratically. We now become a danger. Not just ourselves, but to those in the car with us and not just them, but to those in front, behind, and to the side.
It is good to know people are around us and what is going on. It is good to know where we have been, but more importantly where we are going. We are made to drive straight ahead. We are made to follow one path, one highway, a highway of holiness.. “A highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness. The unclean will not journey on it; it will be for those who walk in that Way; wicked fools will not go about on it.” Is 35:8
To stay on this highway we need to follow the one who designed it. We need to fix “our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith.” (Hebrews 12:2) We need to forget “what is behind and press toward what is ahead.” We must “not swerve to the right or to the left;” But to “turn your foot away from evil,” (Proverbs 4:27) for then ““He will make your paths straight.”
“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. All of us who are mature should take such a view of things”