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. (Philippians 3:13-14)
Many years ago, I went on a backpacking trip through the Boundary Waters. Seven days
of traveling through rivers, lakes, and woods. It was very beautiful. And very hard. We
would canoe a river or lake, and walk the trails between the waterways, carrying our
packs and canoes over our shoulders. Carry our packs to the next destination, walk
back, and repeat with our food pack and canoes. Sometimes it was just 20 feet or so.
Other times, more than a mile. On the final trail, which by the way was about two miles
mostly uphill, I was exhausted. I wanted to give up many times in those 6 miles of back
and forth. I prayed, and repeated to myself…” step, one step in front of the other, one
step, just one more step” until we were at the final lake. I remember saying to myself, “if
I can make it through this, I can get through anything in life.” And the trip was amazing!
In Philippians, the people are being encouraged to focus on how to live well as
Christians for the long haul. Taking on ways of goodness and leaving behind ways that
no longer are needed. Pressing on in life; pressing on through struggles, pressing on
through joys. Pressing on to the goal of living life alongside Jesus.
We’ve just come through the Christmas season. The birth of Jesus. Reliving that God’s
love and light was and IS shining in the world. As we begin a new year, our devotions
will be exploring the theme of PRESSING ON to offer us strength as we travel every day.
Blessed New Year!