I have never been one to be able to shrug things off too much. I don’t get really down by what other people can do to me, but I have always struggled with letting my past failings affect how I think, speak, and act. With sin especially, I often catch myself dwelling on how I have not measured up to the life God is calling me to in the past. This really holds me back from a full surrender to Him in my life. This struggle in my life really made me think of a piece of Paul’s writings. In Philippians 3:12-14, Paul writes:
12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me.13 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, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
Verse 13 really strikes me. I want to please God. And many times I want to please God so badly that I overlook all the opportunities that are placed in my life to live out His Kingdom because I am stuck moping about how I messed up last time.
To me, God can be like a GPS at times. If you ever ride in a car with me driving, you better hope that you know where we are going or that I have a GPS in the car. I am not the best with directions, but if my GPS knows where we are going, I know I’ll make it eventually. Sometimes I will ignore the GPS and go the wrong way even when the thing tells me when and where to turn, but it just calmly says “Redirecting” (In an awesome Australian accent by the way) and gives me another shot to get there. It has not once told me, “Sorry bro, you’re screwed,” or “What’s wrong with you! You might as well turn around and go home.” God constantly is redirecting when I make wrong turns, but I would get to my destination a whole lot quicker if I would just turn the radio down and listen.
All in all, the task sounds simple enough. Just stay focused on the destination and the voice that’s going to get me there, keep my eyes open, and quit wandering around on a bunch of backroads. There’s an old Church of Christ hymn that came to my mind while writing this. It’s entitled, “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.” Here are a few lines:
“Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
and the things of earth will grow strangely dim
in the light of His glory and grace”