Olympic caliber sprinters will tell you that one of the first things they learn, in preparation to become a great runner, is to keep their eyes forward. When watching a race, there are moments when we will see participants in a race turn to see where their competitors are. In some instances, a small peek can be catastrophic. Not keeping one’s eyes fixed on the goal may cause a runner to lose the race or get hurt. Now imagine a sprinter running against other high-quality sprinters and he/she takes a full look at what is behind them. There is no reason to believe that this sprinter will finish the race as successful as they would have, had they kept their eyes straight and fixed on the finish line.
From a prison cell, the apostle Paul reminded his friends and church family to fix their eyes on the prize set before them. Can we truly and completely forget our past? That seems to be the tension we live in as we journey in a broken world. I do not wish to minimize the trauma or pain that many of us have experienced in the past. I do wonder how our journey toward our future reality is hindered, hampered or impeded by our insistence on focusing on the past. I believe Paul highlights this tension by saying that he is not where he wants to be, but that he continues to “press on”. Perhaps the closer we get to the finish line, the less we feel the need to look back. I would invite in the space below to share the things in the past that are dogging you. Is it a past failure? Is it a past sin? Lay it before God and ask him to remind you of your future destiny, while releasing you from a past misfortune.