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I press on toward the goal:

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I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:14 NRSV Bible)

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For many of us, our hopes and dreams in life center around our jobs. That's not surprising. That's where we spend most of our time. Our jobs give us the resources for achieving our goals in life. It is natural that we should have dreams concerning our work. Research shows, however, that around age 45, those dreams begin to change. By then men begin to have some idea whether they are going to keep growing in their work or whether they have gone as far as they will go. If they conclude they have reached their limit--that there is no dream out there for them to pursue--they shift their dreams toward retirement. In fact, some of them retire then and there in their minds. That is why some men in the middle years of life, when they ought to be in their prime, become somewhat listless and begin feeling tired all the time. The problem is not physical. It's mental. They've lost their dream. Meanwhile women who have spent most of their adult lives as care givers are beginning to taste freedom for the first time. So while their husbands are winding down, many women are thinking about going back to school or starting their own business. How you feel about life is related to your sense of purpose.

Now, listen to Paul's words: "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."

Paul discovered there is no ceiling on discipleship. We can be better followers of Jesus at seventy than we are at forty. We can be more loving, more joyous, more focused. The mistake many of us have made is taking our identity from our career rather than from Christ. If your dream is to be like Christ, you will never reach the point where you say, this is it. This is far as I can go.


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Dear God, help me to press on to the goal you have given me. Amen.

Ron Newhouse

 

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