“Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this 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 heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.” vss. 13-14
Whatever we may think of him, Paul can always be counted on to provide a unitary model for our life in Christ without falling into the trap of dualism. Here, for instance, even though he has just outlined the inadequacy of his own righteousness and his total dependence on the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, he now speaks of straining forward and pressing on toward the goal. Despite his talk about grace, he seems to be saying that the heavenly prize requires supreme effort and goes only to a few. In actuality he’s giving a perfect description of the parameters of our life in Christ. It is true that we can relax into the tender arms of God’s grace and abandon our futile efforts at perfection, but it’s also true that our new life will involve a passionate struggle for peace and justice. As called children of God we will daily engage the powers of this world and strain forward to a more equitable future. And the good news is that the prize is already assured because in Christ Jesus one day all things will be made complete! And then we’ll all be winners!
Thought for the Day: How is the marathon of life going for me?