But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead…Phil. 3:13
There is an Allstate Insurance commercial airing on television that depicts the “mayhem” guy tailgating the car in front of him on the way to a football game. The ad actually has some spiritual connotations to it. The tailgating driver’s goal is not to run into the car in front of him. It isn’t even to run the car off the road. Mayhem’s one goal is to distract the driver in front of him so completely, that he wrecks the car himself. And how does Mr. Tailgater do that? By getting the driver to focus on looking through the rearview mirror instead of the windshield.
In the verse above Paul states that his one goal is to press on ahead leaving the past behind. Paul certainly had stuff in his past that rivals anything most of us have dealt with. He bitterly persecuted the church. He held the very coats of those who stoned Stephen, the first Christian martyr, and he was widely feared by Christ-followers throughout the early church. But the power of Christ’s death and resurrection redeemed Paul from his past and set him on a course that would leave a Kingdom impact that continues to expand today.
Paul knew that to do the work God called him to required him to have a forward focus to his life. He knew the past belonged in the past. Yet, that is precisely where Satan wants us to focus. He wants our eyes in the rearview mirror and not the windshield. He wants to remind us of how inadequate and unworthy we are. His goal is to keep us distracted from all that we can do and become. The past is all the Enemy has. He knows the future is lost to him.
I’m not naïve and understand that there are things we may need to deal with, seek counseling for, and ask forgiveness from, but once dealt with we must not continue to carry the baggage with us. The lesson from Paul is clear. Our ardent focus must be on Christ who is out in front of us. As I coach people, I am constantly reminding them to keep looking ahead and resist getting or staying stuck in the past. Progress lies out ahead of us. We plan and take steps to advance not retreat. I don’t know about you, but that excites me.
Make sure you are looking through the windshield this morning… both literally and figuratively!
Live this week on purpose,