“[B]ut one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching 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 (NASB)
One of the great things about being an educator and coach is when the school year or season comes to an end, you get to start over again next year. We are approaching that time of year now, where we begin to wrap up this year and look forward to next.
Back in November, our high school boys varsity basketball season started, and we had high hopes. Thankfully, players stayed physically healthy and academically eligible this season, and we were able to make it to our conference finals. We achieved nearly all of our goals as players and as a team. Unfortunately, we ended up losing the finals, but we did get to play in a big collegiate arena. All things considered, it was a great season with many wonderful memories and lasting relationships.
Despite all the excitement, within a week, the school’s spring sports teams were moving into the gym on rainy days, and the basketball season was fading quickly. In fact, offseason workouts for returning players were already getting started, seniors were moving on, and the scheduling of offseason tournaments was in the works. The basketball season, although officially over for the year, is still busy with behind-the-scenes activity for the next season, making our success from only a few weeks ago a distant, cherished memory.
There are some obvious parallels from this scenario — which is repeated year in and year out — to our spiritual life. We must press on as the clock keeps ticking. We can celebrate the wins, but our work isn’t done there. We are marching toward eternity, and we must keep things in perspective in light of all these truths. We may need to be reminded that what we are doing is worthwhile: We are impacting people for God’s Kingdom.
Pressing on does not mean drudgery. Pressing on is working, grinding and laboring, while still finding joy in the opportunity to serve others, pursue excellence, and make a difference in our world for the glory of God. Yes, it is true: For the Christian, the best is always yet to come! Whether we are pressing on in-season or out of season, let us learn to enjoy the journey and the process of receiving “the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
— Frick Frierson
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