Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Reach for the Finish Line
I loved to watch the Summer Olympics when I was growing up. The track and field events were of special interest. I couldn’t wait to see how far Carl Lewis would leap in the long jump and how fast the sprinters would finish the 100-meter dash. It was especially exciting when it was a close race and the sprinters would stretch forward as far as they could, trying to be the first to cross the line.
That’s the picture I have in my mind when I read these verses from St Paul’s letter to the Philippians. Like a good sprinter, Paul lived his life of faith eagerly stretching for the finish line. He couldn’t wait to finish the race and find eternal life with Jesus.
Do you live your faith with the same kind of eagerness and effort? If you are like me, the answer is: not always. This world has a way of weighing us down. The pressures, worries, and anxieties of this world slow our pace. Temptations trip us up and lead us off track. Our life of faith can be exhausting, especially when we take our eyes off of Jesus.
God’s Word encourages us to focus on the prize—to keep our eyes on the wonderful heaven that Jesus has prepared for us. He promises to give his followers an eternity of perfect peace and rest—a place with no pain, sorrow, or fear, a place full of joy, glory, and praise, a place where we will never grow weary or weighed down. It sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?
When life gets you down, keep your eyes on Jesus and reach for the finish line.
Dear Jesus, life in this sinful world can be so exhausting. Help me to keep my eyes on the heavenly goal. Fill me with your love that I may always stretch for the finish line. Amen.