Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you.
I was reading CS Lewis’s Letters to Malcolm where this simple but profound realization registered for me. CS Lewis writes,
Whatever we do, even if it achieves its object, will scatter round it a spray of consequences which were not its object at all.
What he is basically getting at is whatever we achieve and accomplish, it will result in more work.
I am a big proponent of goal setting, and each year I set physical, intellectual, relational, spiritual and professional goals for myself. However, what I am realizing is the endless nature of life. Once a goal is accomplished, you have a new set of challenges and opportunities.
I keep talking about how this past spring and summer it feels as though “run-way” in life has reappeared. Waypoint has arrived at a stable place in our new location, in financially being self-supporting, and in a strong, dedicated community. My family has arrived at at a stable place with the children in a wonderful new school.
I had not realized how much I had been grinding out daily existence for the past three years. But CS Lewis’ point is well taken, that having arrived at some of these milestones, there are actually new consequences/opportunities that need to be examined and addressed. You must push forward.
Christ is always calling us forward. Do you know one word Jesus never utters, “STOP.” But one of Jesus’s most repeated commands is to “Come” or “Go.” Action oriented verbs that push us either one step closer to him, or one step further out into mission.
The mission of God is not complete. He desires for us to COME and experience His deep love in order to achieve that objective–His Grace poured out for us on the cross–so that we may then GO and tackle the scattered spray of unattended consequences our life has created.
Perhaps it is due to the long miles I am running in preparation for the Blue Ridge Relay, Ragnar and NY Marathon this fall; but as I log these miles, I’ve come to realize the first mile is the hardest. Getting the tight muscles moving again takes the most work, but as Haruki Murakami writes,”once you set the pace the rest will follow” because “in long distance running the only opponent you have to beat is yourself, the way you used to be.”
(P.S.–For some reason this song started to play in my head as I titled this devotion–may not fit perfectly but enjoy anyway!)