‘But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, I press on…’ Philippians 3.13
How can we forget what is behind us? Sometimes the things from our past are so huge and the memories so powerful that it seems ridiculous to be encouraged to forget them. Chance would be a fine thing!
Paul’s word, which is translated in our Bibles as ‘forget’, has another suggested meaning, that of neglect. In other words, our attitude towards the past should simply be to not go there; don’t revisit and dwell on any pain. This advice to forget what might seem unforgettable might sound impossible, but it does begin to be a possibility when taken together with the second part of Paul’s advice: to ‘strain towards what is ahead’. In the next verse, Paul goes on to explain that our vision should be on the truth, that we belong to a different world.
Jesus is here with you now, so try to find his presence. If you are aware of what you have done in the past, or what the past has done to you, take a few minutes to quietly speak Jesus’ name, because in doing this you are speaking to him in the present. You don’t even have to say anything specific, just let his name become part of your breathing. As you speak to him you are connecting with him, and your vision will begin to be turned from your past to the future.
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