Today's Devotional Thought
October 03, 2011 by Rachel Piferi
The One Thing
This weekend, my husband and I took our son and his best friend to East Tennessee to see a University of Tennessee football game. It was my son's 11th birthday on Saturday and we decided to celebrate in Knoxville where he was born and where we spent 9 wonderful years. He hadn't been to a Tennessee football game since he was 1 year old, so he was very excited.
It was a great weekend and we spent it walking around campus, visiting our first house, and walking down memory lane in various parts of the city. At one point, however, it got a little sad for me as we looked back and remembered the good times we spent there. Not that life isn't good now, but there is a piece of that simple graduate school life full of football games and young dreams that is gone and it made me sad.
It made me instantly think of Philippians 3:13-14 where Paul says "Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."
This passage is very well known and often quoted when we are talking about forgetting our pasts and moving forward in Christ. And, we all have those things we need to "forget" if we are going to move forward. The older I get, the more I find that I have behind me that I can stop and dwell on. The good. The bad. The regretful. The successful. And while it is okay to fondly remember good times, all of it can trip me up from moving forward if I'm not careful. I can dwell on my mistakes that leave me feeling inadequate to do what God is calling me to do now. I can rest in the successes and get self satisfied and complacent towards striving forward for the new things God has. I can do any number of things to keep my mind on the past and not on the future.
While this passage is a very good reminder of the need to constantly be pressing forward to God's future for us, do you know my favorite part of Philippians 3:13-14 actually is?
My favorite line is this: "but one thing I do."
You see, Paul had a lot in his life. Things to be proud of. Things to be remorseful of. Things to take joy in. And, things to be scared of. But in everything that he had been through and was going through and could dwell on, he knew what the one thing was. And, it was fulfilling his call in Jesus Christ. And of all the things he could focus on, he focused on one thing.
Paul had great drive and great purpose in his life. A person of success and fulfillment of their call is not distracted by the things of this world or by the insecurities in his heart. He is focused on the prize, on Jesus Christ. And that describes Paul. He had many things in his past, but he knew what the one thing was that he should do and focus on doing. And, he would not let Satan distract him from that purpose with the ghosts of his past.
Girlfriends, this life can get so distracting. And, when this world gets distracting and your emotions and thoughts start to follow those distractions, remind yourself of the one thing you are called to do and focus on it. Girlfriend, fulfill the call that Jesus has on your life. Fulfill it by being devout and steadfastly focused. And recite Paul's words to yourself over and over when Satan tries to distract you from that purpose, "but one thing I do..."