"No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing; forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, (14) I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us."
While reflecting on this picture and the scripture, I see the effort and the focus one has to finish a race. It is not just half an effort, nor even three quarters of the effort, but it is pressing forward and doing the very best we can. I reflect on my life, and how I am running this race for the Lord, and it is a common thing for me to look back..and when I do that, it slows down my pace. The Word says not to look back, for the past is gone and why use up my energy and slow down my pace to look back? It is not worth the effort, so I am to keep my eyes on the finish line and to keep running this race with all I have. It is a race for the Kingdom and it is not easy. It takes training, it takes effort, it takes discipline and self-control to run the race. When circumstances in life seem to get me down, I need to "press forward". Those words are strengthening to me, for it tells me just what Paul was experiencing, for he was saying that his life was like a race and that in the middle of trials and persecutions, he was continuing to run the race with all he has for he was looking for the prize at the end of the race. He would not look back at the past but he would keep pressing forward.
I too, want to keep pressing forward and not get distracted at past hurts, errors, mistakes or even any guilt I may have for things I have done in my life. God has forgiven all those things and wants me to get going in life and not look back. My Lord wants me to keep pressing on and keeping my focus on the finish line for this race will take all of my energy and effort to do my very best for His Kingdom.
Think about your race and are you looking back or keeping your eyes on the finish line?
Press on, dear Sisters in Christ. We are all running this race together!
http://www.horizonsnet.org/sermons/dealing_past.html Dealing with the Demons of the Past by D. Hoke