Philippians 3:10-14 " I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death. If somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own, but this 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 heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus." (NRSV)
Bobbie Roper, from Florida, relates how she and her husband, Jim, enjoyed a well-cared for vegetable garden. They like nothing better than fresh vegetables, and looking at those straight rows of plants gave them a sense of accomplishment.
Jim was a truck driver and away from home for several days at a time. Bobbie, thinking she would help him by cultivating the radishes, got on their tractor, started it, put it in gear, and headed down the row. Jim had instructed her: "when you cultivate, you must never look back. If you turn to look behind, you throw an 'S' in the row." Forgetting his advice, Bobbie looked over her shoulder one time. That's all it took. When she got to the end of the row, she turned to survey her work. To her dismay, a large section of the radishes were upside down with the roots exposed. No amount of replanting helped. That whole section died.
As believers, we may be tempted to look back. But when we focus too much on past failures, we can forget that Jesus has forgiven our sins. Paul gives us a better way: to press forward to the prize that awaits those who follow Jesus Christ and learn from his example. Rather than harming our future path of life by looking back, we can keep our eyes on Jesus, "the author and finisher of our faith" (Heb. 12:2, KIV)
Prayer: Dear God, help us not to look back at past failures. May we keep our eyes on Jesus and walk the path that he desires for all believers. Amen.