“I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” Philippians 3:14
If you’ve ever seen the movie Secretariat, you know how inspiring it is. One friend of mine has seen it so many times that he almost has every line in the movie memorized. Secretariat, a race horse that overcame incredible odds, set race horse records that still stand to this day, and in his time, he inspired Americans and the world with his tenacity to press on toward the finish line, often leaving his competitors far, far behind.
After his death it was discovered that the secret to Secretariat’s success was his heart, which was literally twice the size of the average horse’s heart. But those who knew Secretariat knew it wasn’t just his physical heart that propelled him to great victories, but it was also his desire to win that drove him to run so hard and so fast.
The Apostle Paul knew the danger in having an oversized heart, puffed up by worldly accomplishment, when it came to running the race of life. He wasn’t counting on his credentials, pedigree or any earthly credentials when it came to his right standing and favor with God. No, in his mind Paul knew that all those things were rubbish. He knew that the only thing that brought him into favor and acceptance with God was God’s grace and God’s grace alone. Certainly, when it came to comparing accomplishments with others, he stacked up extremely well. But Paul knew that meant absolutely nothing when it came to eternal life. According to Paul, all those things just puffed up his heart and made him proud, but it was only his encounter with the grace of God that changed his heart forever. And for this, Paul was willing to leave everything in his rearview mirror and press on toward the “heavenly prize.”
Today, like Paul, whether good or bad, let’s leave the past behind and press on to “the Heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.”