Press On, My Friends – Week of April 4, 2022

Not that I have already obtained all this or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:12-14

You’re outside on a lovely spring day. The children are playing happily on the slide, the swings, in the grass, some are playing with balls. What an idyllic day. And then, out of the corner of your eye you see it. She’s running with a full belly laugh alongside her two dearest friends. As she runs, she turns to see how close they are. In that split second, you see what she doesn’t see—another child about to cross her path. Fortunately, you are close enough to intervene just in time. Crisis averted this time.

Aren’t we too often, just like this little one? We run along each day from one task to the next. We have lessons to create, prep work to do, meetings to attend, meals to prepare, rooms to clean, reports to write, and on and on. Some days are like the joyful play of the children we serve. And some days, have bumps and potholes and challenges that can throw off that joy. We can so easily become discouraged, frustrated, and overwhelmed with guilt and disappointment. Our disappointment is with others or ourselves. We struggle with the guilt of thinking we haven’t done enough, or haven’t done it well enough, or will never seem to conquer a challenge.

Today’s verses can remind us that our life is like a journey or a race. The runner who focuses ahead, who keeps their eyes on the finish line seems less affected by the cheering, the commotion, and the distraction of others around them. They keep their eye on the prize that could be theirs. They see the potholes and are able to get around them. They face the challenges with every effort they have. Runners learn quickly that turning your head to check out the runners behind them will slow them down and can even take them off course. Once they refocus on the finish line, they are more likely to do well.

As we go through each day, we too, can be tempted to keep looking back at past sins, past mistakes, past failures, even knowing that these are all forgiven by God’s amazing grace. Yes, we can learn from the past, but over focusing on the past can hinder our growing in Christ and living for him. As God’s dear child, we strive to live lives of serving him and reflecting his grace in all we do. I don’t know about you, but I struggle every day with a balance of striving for perfection and recognizing my inability to achieve this. Today’s verses remind us to keep our eyes looking straight ahead confident in the gift of God’s amazing grace and eternal life with him as coheirs of heaven.

My dear colleagues, press on in faith. Keep your eyes on the prize, on the gift of God’s grace and eternal life. Heaven is ours. Our troubles here on earth are temporary but even during the challenges, we can look to the Word and be reminded that heaven is already ours. You are God’s dear child. Keep your eyes focused on what’s ahead and run through life with faith and joy.


Dear Jesus, I am so easily distracted. Forgive me when I become complacent or over-confident in my faith. Keep me eager to be in the Word each day and spending time talking to you in prayer. Help me to be a reflection of your grace in all I do. Thank you for the prize-the gift of heaven with you. Amen.

Early Childhood Ministry Educator’s (ECME) Devotions are brought to you by WELS Commission on Lutheran Schools.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email