A friend of Clark Gable took her young son to his home for a visit. As they were about to leave, the boy pointed to the Oscar that Gable had won and asked, “May I have this?”
“Sure,” answered Gable, giving the Oscar to the child.
“Give it back immediately,” shouted the mother in shock.
“Oh, no,” said Gable. “Keep it. Having the Oscar around doesn’t mean anything to me. Earning it does.”
Focusing on the future has many benefits. Paul boldly declared that “I am still not all I should be! But I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead I strain to reach the end of the race.”
Paul had excellent reasons to want to forget the past - he persecuted Christians and even had them killed. He held them in great contempt, creating fear and anxiety among them. But, he also accomplished many outstanding things for Christ before he wrote these words. In all reality, he could have “stayed stuck” for one reason or another: either feelings of guilt from the evil things he had done to Christians or a sense of false pride for his exemplary service to his Lord.
These are two traps that every Christian faces: our failures and our successes. Either trap can destroy or defeat what God is calling us to do. We must avoid the “traps” and move forward!
Prayer: Help us, Father, not to ruin the present or the future by staying stuck in the past. You have called us to do great things through Christ. May we always be faithful. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture For Today: No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. Philippians 3:13-14
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