Don’t Look Back!

Submitted by James H. Tedder, II

 

Theme: Set new goals for the New Year
Object: None or an example of a foot race
Scripture: “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.” (NKJV) “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:12-14 (KJV)

How many of you have ever been involved in a foot race? What is the one thing that can slow you down? (Let the kids answer.) Yes, all of those are correct. But, one thing I remember hearing from a PE teacher about what could slow you down in a race was this, ‘Never look back.’ Our PE teacher told us that looking back in a race slows you down. (If time & space permits, you could have two children run a short race.) He told us it slows you down for two (2) reasons; 1) You are spending energy & time at looking where you have been & not where you are going, 2) You loose sight of the mark or finish line. Both of these things make you loose focus which in turn causes you valuable time in a race.

Paul speaks of this very thing in the Bible. It can be found in Philippians 3:12-14, “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”

Paul is talking about Pressing toward a goal, or winning a race. He knows that he has not won the race but, he counts himself still in the race trying to obtain the prize. He states in verse 13; in running the race one thing he does is forgetting those things that are in the past and reaches for the future. In other words, he doesn’t look back! He knows that if there was some goal he did not achieve last year, he is not going to dwell on it just reach for those things he can do in the coming year.

Can you think of anything you did not do last year? Ex.; Listen to Mom & Dad, Invite someone to church, read your Bible more, tell someone about the love of Christ, or be better friend. Well, don’t think about those things now, set new goals for yourself to strive towards within the coming year.

Think about one thing you would like to set as a goal for yourself within this next year. Now, just like in a race and as Paul tells us; “Don’t look back, press on toward the prize!! The prize we have in Jesus Christ our Savior!!”

Pray.