I love it when God and I think along the same lines. The other day when I was reading in Philippians, I came across this - "Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." How cool is that- Paul had a goal way before he could put it in his Daytimer or load a reminder into his Outlook calendar. Even then, people knew what goals were - they were recognized as important milestones to strive toward and achieve.
How he phrases this entire verse encourages me. "Forgetting what is behind". How often does "what is behind" call our name for a myriad of reasons- to keep us discouraged, to make us fear repeated failure, to plant seeds of doubt, or to summon up a really bad past that we're trying to get away from to make something of ourselves. The good news is we're supposed to forget it, not consider it, pretend it never happened.
The part I like most, though, is how Paul is moving ahead. See it? Straining. Not sailing. Not skating. Not soaring. Nope- straining. I don't know about you, but that gives me hope. It tells me that it's not easy to move ahead sometimes. Reaching goals can be difficult and hard work. Any time I have to strain, I'm not picturing a walk in the park (and what I am picturing I shall not discuss here).
I believe a twin to the straining is the second term he uses about getting where he wants to be - "I press on". Pressing on implies that it's tough; we'd rather quit but we set our resolve and steel our minds to get to where we set out to go. Now when someone sits a bowl of M&M's in front of me, I don't exactly have to press on to take handful after handful and consume them. Getting to the bottom of the bowl is a goal that's easily achievable by yours truly. But how about getting a bachelor's degree? Pounding the pavement to get a new job after losing your old one? Or maybe simply sticking with healthy lifestyle changes that seemed exciting in the beginning but don't appeal as much anymore? Ah, those are times where we have to Press On.