This article is by Bruce Gordon and published by Focus on the Family
Over the summer, I plan on writing my devotionals, on a bi-weekly basis, so I am still here.
My parents were caretakers for a group of cottages on three secluded lakes in Northern Ontario. It is an area of 2500 acres with only 7 cottages, plus our family “sugar shack”, where we made maple syrup. It is pristine and still remains this way. I grew up on these lakes and miss being so far away.
When I was in my teens, my younger brother and I were asked to go and look for an owner’s 2 dogs, which were Bouvier Des Flandres, which had run away; they were more like small bears.
Glen and I got hopelessly lost and the afternoon turned into night. We came to a small bluff and looking out across the lake, we could see in the distance, the radio tower and it became our focus. We decided to keep our eyes fixed on this familiar beacon and forget wandering aimlessly looking for those stupid dogs. Dad found us about 4 am and the dogs happily returned the next morning from their adventure.
Our theme this month at the church is “Fix Your Eyes on Jesus”. In addition to the key verse of Hebrews 12:2, I also think of Philippians 3: 13, 14.
But one thing I do; forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
There is much discussion happening on what the “New Normal”, will look like, post pandemic. At this point, it is uncertain, other than to say, it will be different and not business as usual. I could spend more time, providing my thinking, however, for this devotional, I want to focus on Philippians 3. Here are a few personal thoughts:
- Straining forward comes from three Greek words; epi, ek and teino. It is the picture of a runner, who is running with all their strength toward the finish line. They have their eyes fixed on that goal in front of them
- There is a sustained commitment; that means not becoming sidetracked with all the issues on the sidelines.
- I love the picture of passing the baton; I always did my best in the relay race, probably because it was about team. In my hands, I have the baton and I want to successfully hand off to the next generation and I cannot do this, if I am not focused on the finish line; succession is so key for all of us.
- I need to rejoice in what God has already done in my life and yet continue to focus on what I have not yet seen. I cannot go forward while constantly looking backward.
- I need to be careful about picking up additional batons, which people are reaching out to me, with, as I run toward the finish line. This is the most difficult aspect for me, as there are many, I would love to grab onto, as I run. Carrying multiple batons, is dangerous and not what God is asking of me. I could leave a trail of batons, which I have grabbed along the track.
- I know, I am not running alone; I have the power of the Holy Spirit in me, which if I access, will give me the strength, determination and commitment to feel the tape, snap against my chest, when I cross it.
May we not lose perspective in these days of uncertainty and forget the goal. The light of the radio tower, is shining brightly.
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.