October 1, 2020
…But one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14
What is it about “Shark Week” that is so addicting? For over 30 years viewers have been informed, entertained, and (in my case) scared witless by the Discovery Channel series that films great white and other sharks in their natural habitats.
I’ve been fortunate to have had close encounters with cute and cuddly marine life – otters, seals, and manatees. I’ve been equally fortunate not to have had close encounters with sharks, although I know they are “out there” and I appreciate that there’s a lot we can learn from them.
One life lesson is that sharks are almost always moving forward. The way the Creator designed sharks requires water to move through and over their gill surface in order for oxygen to be extracted from the water. Their gills don’t “flap” like small fish species in aquariums. Sharks can’t move the water through their gills; they need to move their gills through water.
In a similar fashion, Paul’s letter to the Philippians encourages us to move forward. “I press on,” Paul says, “that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.” Paul doesn’t wallow in undue celebration of past accomplishments nor does he sink in regrets over past failures and frustration. He “forgets what is behind” and moves forward.
Heavenly Father, Creator of all things, thank you for the promise of a new day that keeps us moving forward. Let us leave our burdens and regrets at the foot of the cross and move forward with a renewed spirit. Amen.