a lesson in straining for the goal

Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But 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 upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 3:13-14 (ESV)

Saturday morning was the 6K (3.72 mi) fun walk (hope to share more with you on the walk later this week) I have been training for the last few weeks.  Little did I know as I arose that morning that God would have an object lesson for me in the midst …

I hit mile 3 of the fun walk at a little bit under 50 minutes and suddenly my goal of completing the 3.72 mile walk in less than 1 hour and 12 minutes was replaced by a new goal … breaking one hour.

As I ramped up my pace, I slowly but surely began to move past one group of walkers after another.  My competitive spirit, inactive for nearly 20 years, kicked in and it became a speed walk to the finish line.

As the finish line came into sight, I had a distance to cover in one minute I knew I would never cover walking … so I began jogging … straining and stretching to reach the goal of one hour …

I’d like to say, that in that moment, I was in tune with the real life object lesson of Philippians 3:13-14 I was experiencing.  Alas … that was not the case …

But this morning, I sensed the Holy Spirit bearing down on me with this question …

“Bernie, are you straining forward to what lies ahead, toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God IN Christ Jesus with the same intensity and passion that you strained and stretched to reach that finish line on Saturday in less than an hour?”

Nothing but silence … as the realization of what my answer was began to sink in …

“No Lord … it is nowhere near the same intensity and passion.”

“Oh Lord … forgive me!”

Right now … and for some time to come I’m sure … I am simply dealing with the realization of my answer … and the conviction of the Holy Spirit that accompanied the question.

Being a lukewarm Christian is not my heart’s desire …

“‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.”  Revelation 3:15-16 (ESV)

This is a post I need to print and keep constantly before me …

Prayers greatly needed and appreciated!!!



About bwebbjr

A grandfather, father, husband, man, and a child of God who is following Christ Jesus and working out his salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work IN me, both to will and to work for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:12-13). I dodged my first bullet with cancer when a cancerous polyp was removed in a sigmoid colectomy surgery in August 2007. Four years later, in the midst of a second colectomy surgery we discovered I had Stage IV metastatic colon cancer. Rather than colectomy surgery I had colostomy surgery, which now means the colostomy bag is a part of my everyday life ... with the emphasis on life. God has given us a peace beyond understanding as my wife and I have traveled this journey. By the grace of God I am blessed to be a 6 plus year cancer survivor aka warrior. In writing, I am often wrestling with my own personal struggles and beliefs and in the midst God leads me to a lesson He wants me to learn ... or sometimes He simply touches me in the revelation of Himself. My hope is that the result you see here might touch your heart and glorify God. And let me be clear ... I am not the only one with something to say. Please join in the conversation sharing your faith, your cancer experiences, etc. I would love to hear from you. Bernie
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4 Responses to a lesson in straining for the goal

  1. judikruis says:

    Even in our well done moments He has new lessons for us to learn. I’m finding that our willingness to look and change is part of that “pressing on”… I look forward to reading more of your process. I have had sometimes where those Spirit questions have pulled me back and I’m learning to let them be the prod to move forward.

    • bwebbjr says:

      Great insights Judi … thanks for sharing them and thanks for your encouraging words. May we learn and share as we continue “pressing on” in the journey with Christ Jesus!

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