“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 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..” My beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” Philippians 3:12-14; 1 Corinthians 15:58
I marveled, looking at the sticky sand, noticing the miniature pyramids of sand balls that the crabs left outside their holes, like a ready arsenal for a miniature battle. They grabbed my attention because of the symmetry of the little spheres and the tidiness of the piles, and I do not know quite how the little creatures make them. It intrigues me that while intent on their purpose, which is to dig, to move forward, to keep on crafting their tunnel, they are oblivious to the beauty they leave behind for others to behold.
May I live the same way, digging in and moving ahead with my eyes on the task at hand and the joy set before me, not concerned about how I measure against others, how much affirmation I’m receiving for my work, or what legacy I’m leaving behind. If my eyes dart constantly at my periphery, tallying others’ opinions and approval ratings, I get unhealthfully distracted and my course will be haphazard and sloppy, determined by whim, emotion, a false or inconsistent standard. If I fix my eyes on my Master, and press on to do His bidding, I will follow where He leads and be assured of my direction. It’s up to Him to leave the beauty behind. (Hebrews 12:1-3)
Isn’t there something attractive, distinctively memorable, about a beautiful expression of love or kindness that lingers lovely and sweet long after? It’s one thing to announce my coming by spraying perfume, and quite another to leave a surprise bouquet of fragrant blooms, words or comfort or unexpected generosity, that piques the senses long after I am gone. What is left behind is often unconscious outgrowth, an exquisite by-product, because the serving and the doing are not concerned for self or being remembered but only for blessing in the now. We are called to obedience; all results and lasting effects are up to the Lord. (1 Corinthians 3:5-7; 13:4-5; 1 Peter 3:3-4)
“Search my heart, make me clean, it’s your approval I long for; rule my life, be my King, do what You will, I belong to You.” Twila Paris
Good Father, steady me on Your course, propel me with godly zeal that burns for You. May I go about my days pressing forward, taking thought only for You, exercising every effort for the sake of Your purposes, exaltation, and honor. And may every result, all that is accomplished and left behind, show forth, and point others to, Your beauty and splendor.