Feeling a bit discouraged the other day, I looked back through the archives of this blog expecting to find a pick-me-up. After all, at one time in our history, 3/5 of our kids couldn’t walk. Life has to have gotten a little easier. While I did have a good laugh at some of the outrageous adventures we’ve had, I did not find what I was looking for. I found myself still struggling in the same old nets and sloughs, sinking further still. So I lugged myself and my big fat burden into the 2nd best place I could think of, Chris’s lap. Of course he has no power to take my burdens off, but he knows the one who does, and so he pointed me there.
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. [bold mine] Philippians 3:13-14
My first reaction was something intelligent like, “No-duh!”‘ Behind that phrase I meant, “Obviously, I’m not perfect. Obviously, I want to be. But how do I try again to strain forward toward the perfection that will always be beyond my reach until we see face to face? I’m tired and that spot on my forehead now has a bruise and I don’t want to bang it against the wall anymore. It feels like insanity!”
Indeed, Einstein defined insanity: doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. But then, without banging my head, it hit me. Like finding out I’d been eating knock-off mac n’cheese my whole life, I realized that Insanity was only the imitation, an impostor of Faithfulness. Insanity is a hopeless repetition of failure and the only way out is to quit. Faithfulness is acting on a sure prize and the only way forward is to strain. Yes, faithfulness is repetitious, but here’s where we get bold, we are allowed to forget our failure.
In as much as our sin reminds us of the magnitude of grace, let’s call it to mind. But forgiven sin is not meant to weigh us down and entangle us. If remembering that we’ve handled the dinner hour with angry impatience 5 times already this week causes us to say, “why bother trying again?” Then forget it! Leave it behind, throw it off. We are free to succeed on the 6th time. More than that we are assured that the author of our faith is the perfecter of it, so do not be afraid of another rep because discipline, “yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”