Philippians 3:12-15 (New International Version)
12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 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, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.15 All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.
Sunday Night as we watched the ladies gymnastics I couldn’t help but admire the gymnasts for their courage and determination.
As we watched I could see great desire and motivation from each of the young ladies as they performed. As they each did flips, twirls and landings I wondered about when they were just beginning, was there a temptation for them to feel overwhelmed at the challenge. Because they weren’t experienced and their muscles hadn't been used or strengthened yet.
Were there times when they became discouraged and want to just give up? Did they compare themselves with the other gymnasts and feel inferior. That is where the coaches and trainers came in. To help each of them to realize that each have different strengths and talents and could benefit by learning together.
This is also true as it relates to our spiritual life. When we come to meet someone who has had years of experience and practice, we admire the flow of grace and ease they possess. When they pray, it is power packed full of faith and the words flow like a river. It creates a hunger and a desire in us. We want that in our lives so much. But how often do we get frustrated when our prayers are choppy and the words are slow and few. How often we are tempted to give up and think we can’t do it.
We need to realize that we are at our own personal level of growth. We do need to be challenged and motivated to press on. We need to practice and exercise our muscles of faith to strengthen ourselves in these areas. We are not in a contest. We need to stop condemning ourselves for not being at the place we want to be at yet, and stop feeling as if others are judging us; this is a form of pride. We need to humbly admit that there are things we haven't yet learned and need help with.
How many of us have been held back from our full potential because of someone who put this fear in our hearts. We all long for something more, we know there is a call in our hearts to move onward and upward. We have been taught to deny our hearts desire and settle for doing somersaults the rest of our life. How we long to gracefully glide with speed and precision, flipping and floating through the air with joy!
Dear Lord we thank You that You have a plan for each one of us. We pray that we would have the courage and determination to accomplish what You have for each of us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.