Monday, April 15, 2002

Pressing Ahead

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.
(Philippians 3:13-14)

Today I celebrate yet another birthday. When I was a kid, I couldn't wait for my birthday to arrive. My mom would start the day off by burning my birthday candle, then cap the day off by making my favorite meal followed by her incomparable yum-yum cake. I was king for the day, and I loved every minute of it.

As a 31-year-old man, I still look forward to my birthday. Although the feelings of royalty are gone, I still enjoy all the e-mails and phone calls with greetings and birthday songs mixed in. Perhaps it reminds me of the innocence of my youth when the trials and tribulations of this world had yet to find me.

So much has happened since my birthday candle worked its way down to the wick - far too many years ago. I've experienced a lot of goodness and a lot of evil - perhaps never more so than last September. After watching the events of 9/11 unfold, my heart grieved at how evil, evil can be. I questioned how goodness could ever prevail, and on a personal level, what amount of goodness could I provide to help overcome it.

As the days and months have gone by, I've gained encouragement from this verse to forget the struggles of the past and to press forward. Whether we believe it or not, goodness will ultimately conquer evil through the power of Christ Jesus. In the meantime, we are called to fulfill the goal that God has had outlined for each of our lives from day one. Through a kind word, through a loving prayer, we can make a lasting difference.

I look forward to the time when every day will feel like those birthdays of my youth, but for now, please keep the e-mails and phone calls coming!