I’ve been silent for several weeks. It’s not that I haven’t thought about writing, there was almost too much to say and no place to start. It’s been intense, I’m sure you know what that’s like. There are many areas in my life right now where I’m being challenged to let go of what lies behind. I was thinking about that very thing this morning when I set out on a “run”. I use the word “run” very loosely. I’m not training for any physical race, I really don’t even enjoy running that much, but it’s the quickest way I know to get where I want to go. There is a wooded path along a nearby creek that’s my absolute favorite place to go “hang out with God”. It’s quiet there, so beautiful, serene, and safe. It’s seemingly worlds away from my normal life- the problem solving, planning and doing that takes up much of my days. This morning was absolutely breathtaking, perfect conditions for a run! I was asking God to give me a fresh perspective and to renew my heart. Right before I dashed out the door I looked up the verses that were darting through my mind. Philippians 3:7 But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, 9 and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection andthe fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; 11 in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. 12 Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. It was the reference point I needed as I began to run. This run for me was not about physical conditioning, it was more about “running the race”. It was about training- my mind, my heart, my attitude. I don’t particularly like letting go. I love change and new adventures, but I want to keep the setting of my life the same. As much as I love change, I also love routine. I was really focusing in on verse 12…pressing on, wanting to embrace the new things God has for me, for our family but at the same time feeling reluctant about letting go. I needed help with that part. As I thought about the cost of “whatever things were gain to me, I now consider loss for the sake of Christ”, a deeper realization and understanding filled me. I embrace, believe, and declare that my one focus (over-riding all I do) is to know Jesus more and more and to be found in him. So then, no matter what he has asked of me, when I obey, (and in this case lay it down) I “know” him in a new way. I am found “in him” in greater dimensions. When I let go of “me”, I get more of “him”. I want to “lay hold of that for which I was laid hold of by Christ”; each day is a new adventure and a new place to live this out.
So now I need to focus on the part about “letting go of what lies behind”. I can see the fruit of what God’s been doing and what I’ve allowed him to accomplish within me. I’m not saying that I’m “there yet”, but I’m encouraged by what I see. There are also areas where there isn’t a great harvest of fruit and some of those places are undoubtedly the ones that he is getting ready to go after, or places that he is going after right now. If I want to get to the place of “harvest” in the future (largely defined by what I’m allowing God to sow right now), then I have to let go of the past season- fruit, weeds and all! I must choose to reach forward for what lies ahead. It’s a choice, and it’s entirely mine to make. The next season probably won’t look anything like the previous one, but that’s the beauty of God. The splendor and wonder of His love, His creation, and His life is displayed in many ways- one no more significant than another. Am I sad when one season ends? Sure! Just as summer changes to fall in the natural, leaving behind bare feet, swimming, warm days; there are things that I will miss and long for in the months to come. I’m thankful though, that there are other good things in store for this next season, things that I haven’t experienced for awhile!
I have peace in the letting go- I know that God is sheltering me in his wings, Jesus is walking with me, and the Holy Spirit is leading me in the paths to take. I am truly excited about what’s in store over the next few months. I think I’m ready. I get that not everyone will understand and some will even question me. I don’t like that part, but it happens. It’s not my job to justify, but to simply hear his voice and follow him. I will continue running, strengthening myself and engaging in the “race”. God will continue to coach me, encouraging and pushing me beyond my natural expectations and ability. My eyes are on the prize- I’m reaching!