Read Philippians 3: 12-21
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 had 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. Philippians 3:12-14 (NRSV)
Phillip Clark lives in Rhode Island. A sign in front of a church caught his eye one day. It said, "Don't stumble on something behind you."
Stumble on something behind me? We usually stumble on things in front of us. But the sign reminded Phillip that we can get derailed by focusing too much on the past, which prevents us from living our lives fully as God intends.
In his letter to the Philippians, Paul wrote that our faith journey is like a race. Finishing requires that we not look back with regret for what we did that we are ashamed of or what we didn't do that we should have done.
Had Paul been fixated on his past - a past in which he persecuted Christians - it is unlikely that he could have spread the good news of Christ to so many new churches. Paul had to press forward with his new life, a life made all the more meaningful because of his commitment to the Lord. We too can avoid stumbling on our past if we keep our eyes on "Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith."
Prayer: Dear God, help us remember that our real purpose and meaning comes from you, in Jesus' name. Amen.