“Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it on my own; but this one thing I do (know): 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” (vv. 13-14).
I certainly “do not consider that I have made it on my own!” I need all the help I can get—and I sometimes hesitate to ask. Asking for help is not easy for me. When I do, what I try to do is not ask blatantly for an answer, but to understand the challenge and what I might learn from it, as well as for the courage to seek the right road toward the solution. Sometimes this is not easy for me.
“Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead” makes me smile. Years ago our dear pastor, Forster Freeman, said that in his evening prayers and in meditations, he swept the blackboard clean, or he also put it that he “threw out the garbage,” giving thanks for what he had been given and learned throughout the day and asking for any forgiveness he might need—then he focused on the new day that he would be facing in the morning. Rather than muddling through the minutiae of our days that seem to absorb us, his approach seemed like a simple approach to living, leaving the new day open for new experiences and learning. Discovering this passage was such a treat for me—it affirmed what I had felt for so many years and offered me support not to hesitate in the difficult process of humbly asking for help.
Gracious God, thank you for every day of living and learning and for being there for us on our journeys. We know we are not alone. Let us “hold fast to what we have attained” and guide us as we strive in our lives toward the perfection we know in Jesus, your Son. Amen.