Running toward the Goal
I do not claim that I have already succeeded or have already become perfect. I keep striving to win the prize for which Christ Jesus has already won me to himself. Of course, my friends, I really do not think that I have already won it; the one thing I do, however, is to forget what is behind me and do my best to reach what is ahead. So I run straight toward the goal in order to win the prize, which is God's call through Christ Jesus to the life above.
My wife and I joined a gym. She loves working out. Me. Not so much. But our thought is if we work out together, I will find fewer excuses not to work out. My favorite excuse is, “I don’t feel like it.”
When we lived outside Yakima, Washington in a small town called Wapato we joined the YMCA and went to the gym every morning. One time I saw a man wearing a t-shirt with the words, “The one who dies with the most toys wins.”
Another time I was a member of a local gym, now out of business. They had t-shirts which said something like, “Eat healthily, exercise regularly, die anyway”. That does not seem like a powerful motivator.
In his letter to the Philippians, Paul talks of running straight to the goal to win the prize. He is not talking about physical exercise. He is talking about continuing the journey.
It is believed Paul was in prison at the time of this writing. It seems Paul may have thought this imprisonment would end in his death. Until that happened, Paul would continue his journey until he reached the goal of life with Christ in eternity.
Philippians was a letter of encouragement to other followers of Christ.
Each one of us needs these words of encouragement. When our personal journeys seem sidetracked, we continue to run toward the goal which Christ has set before you and me.
May you be encouraged in Christ on your journey, especially when the journey seems sidetracked.
Peace Lutheran Church
Mill Valley, California