One week a Sunday school teacher had just finished telling her class the Christmas story.
After telling the story the teacher asked, “Who do you think the most important woman in the Bible is?”
A little boy raised his hand and said, “Eve.”
The teacher asked him why he thought Eve was the most important woman in the Bible.
The little boy replied, “Well, they named two days of the year after Eve. You know, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.”
Now that the Christmas and New Year celebrations are behind us and we are in 2022, we want to look at having a deliberate direction in 2022.
In Philippians 3:13, we read this:
“forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead.”
Paul is using the analogy of the Greek runner, who is forgetting his opponent.
He is leading in the race.
If he thinks about those behind him and the pounding of their feet, his progress will be hindered.
The word “forgetting” here is not a failing to remember, but no longer allowing something to affect you.
Forgetting what lies behind is everything in the past, both good and bad.
This includes our sins and mistakes, the victories and achievements in the past.
We don’t forget by trying to erase the past from our memory, but it is not allowing the past to control the future or to hinder our present progress.
We could liken it to a car’s rear view mirror.
While driving, we use the broad view of the windshield to move ahead.
We use the mirror for reference, making quick, periodic glances into it for information to aid in making driving decisions.
But we cannot effectively or safely move ahead by staring into the mirror only, ignoring the view from the windshield.
At the same time, proper use of the mirror insures a safer, smoother trip to our destination.
In the same way, we are not to dwell in our past, but live by using the lessons of the past as a reference to aid our journey into the future.
If we are to continue to grow in Christ in 2022, we need to forget the past, by not allowing it to hinder us, and “reaching forward to what lies ahead.”
We cannot allow the past to be hindering our perspective for 2022.
The phrase “reaching forward,” means “stretching every muscle to be the first one across the finish line.”
Often a race is decided by a fraction of an inch and the runner, who extends himself by stretching out, is the winner.
So we need to have a deliberate direction by stretching out to what lies ahead in our spiritual growth in 2022.
May 2022 be a year of spiritual growth!
Pastor Ken Keeler