The past is an interesting character full of intrigue and drama. It can be full of growth and wonderful memories feeding our souls with strength and wisdom. It has become our heritage making us who we are today and for that I am grateful. Sometimes however, I feel like I carry the past in a backpack on my back usually not even aware that I am doing it. I may not be thinking of the past at all, but I feel sluggish and tired. My heart is heavy. The quiet voice inside me says, "It's the backpack".
The contents of our backpacks are all different but usually contain past hurts, failures, and regrets. I have made peace with my past so how is it that it still manages to weigh me down? Why does it show up out of nowhere like the wind and wreck havoc on my spirit? I believe it is because I am still attached to it. It still is a part of me. When Paul says in Philippians, "Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus".
Paul certainly had a past full of regrets. I love that he says, "I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet..." Even the Apostle still struggled with letting the past weigh on him. Those memories of pain still lingered in his soul, but he knew it was not about where he had come from but where he was going. Reaching forward. Reaching is a great word. I am not grabbing I am reaching. Reaching takes effort of our whole body. I must lean forward and then press on...keep going, stretching for the goal, the prize. What is the prize? It's our calling. It's what God created us to do and be. We all have a calling that is unique to us. I can only achieve it when I reach for it and press forward. That's why it is essential we take off the encumbrances that so easily entangle us and we run with perseverance the race set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.
Today I am choosing to reach and press on.