Colossians 3:2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.
2 Corintians 4:18 As we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
Philippians 3:13-14 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.
Last Saturday morning I awoke to find that a patient that I had been caring for over 20 years passed away. I knew that she was a Christian. We had spoken about that many times, but yet my heart was broken for her family. Her husband has many severe medical problems, and he had just lost the one who took care of him at home. I was happy to know she was rejoicing in heaven, but at the same time I felt crushed in spirit. My husband, who knows me so well, said, “Come on. We’re going to the river.” That sweet man of mine saw the sadness in my eyes, and as always, wanted take care of me! We loaded up, went to Old River, and caught a few fish. It was a beautiful day. Normally, I take 100 pictures when we go to the river, but that day, I did not. I was kind of mopey all day. I was down in the dumps.
Fast forward one week. On Friday night, we decided that we were going to the river fishing again. We went to bed full of excitement thinking about how much fun it was going to be, and we awoke ready to go. We arrived early, and I swear, I’ve never seen or heard so many birds in one day while on Old River. We even saw two mama wood ducks with some brand new hatchlings. The babies would pop up and down in the river like little corks. The mamas flew ahead of us and started flapping in the water, carrying on, playing sick, to distract us from the babies. (Of course, we didn’t mess with the babies.) We saw one alligator. He rolled in the water as soon as we saw him so I did not get a picture. We saw mayhaws just about ready to fall, beautiful wisteria blooms, and pretty honeysuckles. Everything is nice and green. I caught the first catfish. Didn’t catch another one all day, but that didn’t upset me in the least. I was out in the sunshine enjoying the beauty of God’s creation, soaking in every single leaf, flower, bird chirp, and owl hoot! It was WONDERFUL!
What a difference a week made in my perspective. Same place. Same scenery. Very different mindset. Improved perspective! It is very easy for us, even strong Christians, to get down during these current events, but we have to keep looking to Christ. In Philippians 3:13-14, Paul recognizes that his accomplishments mean nothing. He recognizes he has not made it on his own. He made mistakes just as we all do. We fail. We fall short. We have pity parties. But God knows we are not perfect. And He uses those imperfections to grow us in our faith. As humans, our flesh strives to pull us away from our goal which is eternity with Christ. Paul, however, was focused strictly on that goal. He was focused on the race, the goal, the finish line. Though he persecuted the church and stoned Stephen in his past, he didn’t let the past control his future. He didn’t let his past mistakes keep him from moving forward in Christ. We are all going to fail. We are going to have bad days. We are going to suffer. But don’t let the failures of yesterday, the sadness of today, or anything else keep you from your goal. We are called to follow Christ, seek Him, spread His word. Don’t stop running the race. We haven’t yet reached the finish line.