J. R. Miller
"Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made
perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus
took hold of me. 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." Philippians 3:12-14
While we live we must be moving on. When we stop—we begin
to die. Rest is necessary—but only to renew our strength that we may press
on again. An anchor is needful for a ship—but anchoring is not a
ship's business; it is built for sailing. A man is made for struggle and
effort, not for ease and loitering.
There is an incident in the history of the Wanderings
of the Israelites, which is suggestive. It was near the close of the
forty years in the wilderness. The people had been for some time in the
region of Mount Seir, and seem to have been going round and round the
mountain. They were constantly in motion, and yet were making no progress,
were not getting any nearer the promised land. They would journey
laboriously for many days through the wilderness, enduring hardship,
suffering pain and weariness, and at last would come to the very place from
which they had started. It was a fruitless kind of journeying. Then they
were called to cease their going round the mountain and to enter on a course
that would lead them somewhere. "Jehovah spoke unto me, saying—You have gone
round this mountain long enough—turn northward." There is a tendency among
people to do something like this in their everyday life. We are inclined to
settle down in our present condition and stay there when we ought to be
moving on to something beyond, something better, something larger and
nobler. We let ourselves form the habit of moving round and round in a
circle, when we ought to break away from the circular course and start
forward. It is easy for us to get into a routine in life which will keep us
in the same lines—from day to day and from week to week.
Sometimes in the country one sees a primitive contrivance
for grinding bark. A horse, attached to a pole, goes round and round,
running the bark-mill. For hours every day the patient animal treads on,
always moving—but never getting away from his little circular path. So it is
that many people plod on in their daily routine of life. They do the same
things day in and day out, week in and week out. This routine is not idle.
It is really necessary that we do the same tasks over and over, with
scarcely a variation from year to year.
The women find it so in their home life; their
housekeeping duties are about the same every day. It cannot be otherwise. To
break up the routine would be to mar the completeness of the home life and
work. To omit any of the little duties of the kitchen, the dining room, or
the general housework—would be to leave the work of the home less
beautifully done. Most men in their daily work must follow a like
imperious routine. They must rise at the same hour, take the same train or
trolley car, be at their desk in the office, or at their place in the mill,
at the same time, follow the same order, perform the same tasks, go to their
meals at the regular times—day after day. To miss a link anywhere in the
routine would mar the day's work.
Some people fret and chafe over the drudgery, as
they call it, of their common lives. They are weary of its monotonous
rounds, its lack of variety, its never-ending repetition. But really there
is a benefit, a discipline, is this very sameness of tasks. The old horse
that goes round and round in his circular track, turning the creaking,
crunching mill, does his duty well, grinding the bark honestly—though he
never makes any progress himself. No doubt his work through the years adds
thousands of dollars to the world's wealth. The men and the women who rise
in the morning and go through the same monotonous round of tasks every day,
six days in the week, are doing their work faithfully and at the same time
are forming their own character. That is the way we build our life. It would
not be well if we were released from the daily round, though it is so
monotonous. We owe much to it. It trains us.
Yet there is always danger that we come to be
contented with our routine, and indisposed to go beyond it. We must
always do the same daily tasks, never omitting any of them, never neglecting
the least duty, however dull or plain. But, besides this monotonous
round—there should always be something larger going on. "You have gone round
this mountain long enough—turn northward." We must not let our life run
forever and only in a little circle—but must branch out, learn new lessons,
venture into new lines, leave our narrow past—and grow into something more
meaningful. Our daily walk should be like that of one whose path goes about
a mountain, moving in a circle, perhaps—but climbing a little higher with
each circuit, pursuing a sort of spiral course, constantly ascending the
mountain peak, until at last he reaches the clear summit and looks into the
face of God.
Narrowness is a constant peril, especially for those
whose lives are plain and without distinction, the two-talented men
and women, the common people. They must do chiefly tasks which are set for
them. They do, all their life, some one little thing—over and over. It is
not easy to live an ever-widening life in such conditions. We are apt to let
our immortality shrink into the measure of the little place we fill in the
world. Yet it is possible, though our daily round is so small, to keep our
mind free and be ever reaching out in sublime flights. There are men who
work year after year in some small department of business, and then spend
the hours outside of business in some line of work or research in which they
are ever growing in knowledge, in mental breadth—into larger, stronger,
better, and worthier men.
That is the way the lesson shapes itself for many of us.
We must not allow our narrow occupation to dwarf our souls. Our work itself
is valuable and noble, and we must never be ashamed of it and must do it
with zest and enthusiasm. But while we do our little allotment of lowly duty
faithfully, we must never permit our minds to dwarf or shrivel—but must
continually train ourselves into larger things. Instead of hugging our
little mountains and never going off the old paths, we should turn northward
and find delight in new fields. This is a large world, and we live most
inadequately when we stay all our life in a little one-acre lot.
There seems to be in this thought a suggestion for New
Years or birthdays. We should not live any year merely as well as we lived
the year before. There are people who really never advance in anything. They
do their common task-work this year as they did it last, certainly no
better. They keep the same habits, faults and all. They become no more
intelligent, no more refined. They seem never to have a new thought, to
learn a new fact, to become more useful among men. They grow no more
patient, gentle, or sweet. They take no larger place in the community, and
are no more useful among their fellows. They read no new books, make no
advance in knowledge. Their life consists of the same old commonplaces, they
tell the same little jokes over and over. In their religious life they do
not grow. They know God no better, have no more trust in time of trouble,
love no more, live no more helpfully, never get to know their Bible any
better. They quote only the same two or three verses which they learned in
childhood. If you hear them often, you will get to know their prayers by
heart. They live the same pitiably narrow religious life at sixty—which they
were living at twenty! They simply go round and round the mountain, never
climbing up to any loftier height as they journey. They never get the wider
look they would get by ascending as they plod.
This is not the way to live. The message comes to us
continually, "You have been going round this mountain long enough—turn
northward!" Northward for these pilgrims was toward Canaan, the new
homeland. The wilderness was not their destination—it was only a road
on which they were to travel, a region through which they were to pass to
reach their land of promise, the good land of their hopes. So the call to us
is northward, away from the common things into the higher and nobler
things of life! We belong to God, and we should seek the things of God. We
are risen with Christ, and we should seek the things of the resurrection
life. Our citizenship is in heaven, and we should have our home there. We
are called to leave the narrow life of our earthly state—and turn
Paul teaches us the same lesson in a remarkable passage
in one of his epistles. He gives us a glimpse of the ideal life, the perfect
life in Christ. He says frankly that he himself has not yet attained this
sublime height, has not reached the best. "Not that I have already obtained,
or am already made perfect." But this unattained life he does not regard as
unattainable,—he will come up to it sometime. "I press on." He is
like the boy in Longfellow's "Excelsior." At the foot of the mountain he
stood, gazing at the far-away radiant heights—but he wasted no moments in
mere gazing. Carrying a banner which bore his motto, he began to climb.
Disregarding all allurement, he kept on in his ascending path until he was
lost sight of in the storms of the mountain crest. Thus Paul, this man of
quenchless ardor, pressed his way toward the highest and best. He was in
prison now—but prison walls were no barrier to his progress. He tells us,
too, the method of his life. The two words which contain the secret of his
noble career were—"forgetting," "reaching."
There were certain things which he FORGOT.
Look at this a moment, for the word contains for us a secret we must learn
if we would make progress northward. "Forgetting the things which are
behind." "Remembering" is a favorite Bible word. We are constantly
exhorted to remember, and urgently counseled not to forget. It is perilous
to forget—to forget God, to forget the divine commandments. We are not to
forget our past sinful condition, lest we grow cold. But there is a sense
also in which our only hope is in forgetting. We never can get on to higher
things if we insist on clinging to our past and carrying it with us. We
can make progress only by forgetting. We can go forward only by leaving
behind what is past.
For instance, we must forget our
MISTAKES. There are many of them, too. We think of them in our
serious moods, at the close of a year, when we are forced to review our
past, or when some deep personal experience sets our life before us in
retrospection. We sigh, "Oh, if I had not made that foolish decision! If I
had not let that wrong companionship into my life! If I had not gone into
that wretched business which proved so unfortunate! If I had not blundered
so in trying to manage my own affairs! If I had not taken the bad advice
which has led me into such hopeless consequences, how much better my life
would have been!"
Some people keep compassing regretfully the same
mountains of their one year's mistakes through all the following year. They
do little but fret over their errors all the months which they ought to make
bright with better things, nobler achievements, loftier attainments. But
what good comes of it? Worry undoes no folly, corrects no mistakes,
brings back nothing you have lost. A year of fretting sets you no
farther forward. The best use you can possible make of last year's blunders
is to forget them, and then to learn wisdom from the experience for this
year. Remembering them, keeping them before you in painful regret—will only
make you less strong for avoiding them hereafter. To err is human. We learn
by making mistakes. Nobody ever does anything perfectly the first time he
tries it. The artist spoils yards of canvas and reams of paper in mastering
his art. It is the same in living. It takes most of a lifetime to learn how
to do work passably well.
There is a way also by which our mistakes may be made to
work good for us. We can so deal with them that they shall be made to yield
good instead of evil. We well know, that many of life's best things in
character and attainment have come out of blunders and follies. We owe far
more than we know to our blunders. One day Ruskin was with a friend who, in
great distress, showed him a fine handkerchief on which some one had
carelessly let fall a drop of ink. The woman was vexed beyond measure at the
hopeless ruining of her handkerchief. Ruskin said nothing, and took the
handkerchief away with him. In a few days he brought it back—but ruined no
longer. Using the blot as the base of a drawing, he had made an exquisite
bit of India-ink work on the handkerchief, thus giving it a beauty and a
value far beyond what it possessed before it had been blotted.
There is a strange power in the divine goodness which can
take our mistakes and follies—and out of them bring beauty, blessing, and
good. Forget your blunders, put them into the hands of Christ, leave them
with him to deal with as he sees fit—and he will show them to you afterward
as marks of loveliness, no longer as blunders—but as the very elements of
maturation. Forget your mistakes and turn northward!
We should forget our HURTS.
There are many hurts in every life. Somebody did you harm last year.
Somebody was unkind to you, and left a sting in your memory. Somebody said
something untrue about you; falsely maligned you; misrepresented you. You
say you cannot forget these hurts, these injuries, these wrongs. But you
would better. Do not nourish them. Only worse harm will come to you, from
keeping them in your memory and thinking about them. Do not let them
rankle in your heart. The Master forgot the wrongs and injuries done to
him, and you have not suffered the one-thousandth part of the things he
suffered from others. He loved on—as if no wrong had been done to him. A few
moments after a boat has ploughed the water, the bosom of the lake is smooth
again as ever. So it was in the heart of Jesus—after the most grievous
injuries had been inflicted upon him. Thus should we forget the hurts done
to us. Only worse hurt will come to us through our continuing to brood
over our mistreatments. Crimes have been inspired—by remembering wrongs.
But hurts forgotten in love, become new adornments in the life. A tiny grain
of sand in a pearl oyster makes a wound; but instead of running to a
festering sore—the wound becomes a pearl! So a wrong, patiently endured,
mastered by love, adds new beauty to the life!
We should also forget our
ATTAINMENTS—the things we have achieved, our successes. Nothing
hampers and hinders a man more than thinking over the good or great things
he has done in the past. There is many a man, who never achieved much worth
while after doing one or two really worthy or beautiful things. The elation
spoiled him—and that was the end of what might have been a fine career.
There are men who once did a good thing, and have done little since but tell
people about it. They have been compassing their Mount Seir many
days. If you did anything good, worthy, or great in the past—forget it!
It belongs to last year and adorned it—but it will not be an honor
for this year. Each year must have its own adornments. However fine
any past achievements of ours may have been, they should be forgotten and
left behind. We are to go on to perfection, making every year better than
the one before. Dissatisfaction with what we have done, spurs us ever to
greater things in the future!
We should forget also the SINS
of the past. Somehow, many people think that their sins are the
very things they never should forget. They feel that they must remember
them, so that they shall be kept humble. But remembering our sins, weaving
their memories into a garment of sackcloth and wearing it continually, is
the very thing we ought not to do! Do we not believe in the
forgiveness of our sins, when we have repented of them? God tells us
that our sins and our iniquities he will remember no more, forever!
We should forget them, too, accepting the divine mercy, and since they are
so fully forgiven by our Father, our joy should be full.
One of the Psalms tells us of being brought up out of a
horrible pit, and our feet set upon a rock. Then comes the song beginning:
"He has put a new song in my mouth," rejoicing instead of hopeless grief
over sin! Brood not a moment over your old sins. Compass the mountain no
longer—but turn northward! Turn your penitence into consecration.
Burn out the shame of your past evil—in the fires of love and new devotion.
These are suggestions of the meaning of Paul's secret of
noble life. Of course we should never leave behind us and throw away
anything that is good and beautiful. The blossom fades and falls—but
from it comes the fruit. In the most transient experiences there are
things which remain: influences, impressions, inspirations, elements of
beauty, glimpses of better things. These we should keep as part of life's
permanent treasure. Paul did not mean that in forgetting the things that
were behind, he threw away the attainments of godly experience. In leaving
the mountain and turning northward, the people did not leave the mountain
behind them—they carried it with them. One never can forget a mountain nor
lose the gifts it puts into one's life.
But all that is evanescent and transient is
to be forgotten, left behind, while we move on to new things. Forget the
things that are behind. Move entirely out of the past. It is gone and you
have nothing whatever more to do with it. If it has been unworthy—it
should be abandoned for something worthy. If it has been good—it
should inspire us to things yet better. "You have compassed this mountain
long enough: turn northward!" Paul also teaches this in the other word which
he uses in his plan of progressive life. First, forget everything
that is past. Then straining forward to what is ahead.
What are these things that are ahead, to which we ought
to stretch? The answer may be given in a word—life. Jesus
told his disciples he had come—that they might have life. We have no life
until we receive it from Christ. Christ is the fountain from which all life
flows. His own heart broke on the cross—that we might receive life— his
life. Nothing will meet our need but life. A picture may seem
perfect—but it is only a picture; it has no life.
There is a story of a sculptor who had chiseled a marble
statue of a man. Michelangelo was asked to see it. He stood before the
marble and was amazed at the success of the young artist. Every feature was
perfect. The brow was massive. Intelligence beamed from the eyes. One foot
was in the act of moving as if to step forward. Gazing at the splendid
marble figure, Michelangelo said, "Now, march!" No higher compliment
could the great artist have paid the sculptor. Yet there was no response.
The statue was perfect in all the form of life—but there was no life in it.
It could not march. Just so, it is possible for us to have all the semblance
of life in our religious profession, in our orthodoxy of belief, in our
morality, in our Christian achievements, in our conduct, in our devotion to
the principles of right and truth—and yet not have life in us. Life
is the great final blessing we should seek.
Not life merely, not just a little of it—but fullness
of life. Jesus said he had come that we might have life and might have
it abundantly. The turning northward was that the people might
exchange the wilderness for Canaan. The wilderness meant
emptiness, barrenness, sin's bitter harvest. Canaan was a type of heaven.
What does turning northward mean for us today? It means a larger Christian
life. Note some definite elements in its meaning:
We rejoice in all that God has done for us in the past.
We are grateful for the blessings we have received. But we are only on the
edge of the spiritual possibilities that are within our reach. We are in
danger of sitting down in a sort of quiet contentment, as if there were no
farther heights to be reached. "You have been going about this mountain long
enough: turn northward." Northward is toward new and greater things, larger
spiritual good, more abundant life. It means something intensely practical
and real. It is a call to better life. We must be better men, better women,
better Christians. We must be holier. The abundant life must be pure. One
man wrote on a New Year's eve, that he wanted to be a cleaner man in the new
year than ever before. "How I long to be clean all through! What a blessed
life that must be!" We need all and always to seek the same cleanness. It
must begin within. "Blessed are the pure in heart."
A little story tells of a man who was washing a large
plate glass in a show window. There was one soiled spot on the glass which
defied all his efforts to cleanse it. After a long and hard rubbing at it,
with soap and water, the spot still remained, and then the man discovered
that the spot was on the inside of the glass. There are many people
who are trying to cleanse their lives from stains by washing the outside.
They cut off evil habits and cultivate the moralities, so that their conduct
and character shall appear white. Still they find spots and flaws which they
cannot remove. The trouble is within. Their hearts are not clean, and God
desires truth in the inward parts.
There is a story of a mother who had lost a beautiful
child. She was inconsolable, and, to occupy her hands with something about
her beloved child, in order that she might find comfort, she began to color
a photograph of the precious little one. Her fingers wrought with wonderful
skill and delicacy, and at length the face in the photograph seemed to have
in it all the winsome beauty of life. The child appeared to the mother to
live again before her eyes. When the work was done, she laid the picture
away for a time in a drawer. When she took it out by and by, to look at it,
the face was covered with blotches and the beauty was sadly marred. Again
the mother took her brush, and with loving skill painted out the spots and
touched the picture afresh, until once more the face had all its winsome
beauty. Then again the photograph was laid away, and when it was brought out
the blotches were there as before. There was some fault in the paper
on which the likeness was printed.
There are human lives which may be made to shine in the
fairest beauty that Christian culture can produce. They may be freed from
all that is coarse and unrefined. They may be nurtured into gentleness of
manner and sweetness of spirit. Yet in certain experiences of testing,
undivine qualities are brought out, unhallowed tempers and dispositions are
revealed. The trouble is in the nature itself. Sin is still in the
heart. The only way to be made perfect is to have the very springs of
the life cleansed. "I long to be clean all through." That is the kind of men
and women we should pray to become. It was the lifelong prayer of Frances
Willard, "O God make me beautiful within!" Think what spiritual beauty there
would be in any church, what healing for the world, if all its members were
thus made clean, through and through, if all were really beautiful within.
It is to this that we are called each New Year, for
example, each birthday. We are summoned to leave our routine Christian life,
the commonplace spirituality which has so long satisfied us, and turn
northward. We are called to be saints—not when we are dead and our
bodies have been buried out of sight—but now, while we are busy in
the midst of human affairs, while we live and meet temptations every day,
while men see us, and are touched and impressed by what we do. Shall we not
give up and leave behind our conventional spirituality, our
fashionable holiness, our worldly conformity—and be holy men,
holy women, turning northward to get nearer to God?
We need to be always watchful lest we allow our spiritual
life to deteriorate in its quality as we go on from year to year. This is
especially one of the temptations of advancing old age. There seems less to
live for, less to draw us onward and upward, and inspiration is apt to grow
less strong. The best seems behind us, and zest for toil and struggle grows
less keen. We yield to weariness, we relax our discipline and
self-restraint, we do not so much mind the little slips, the minute
neglects, the lowering of tone in feeling, in sentiment, in conduct. We are
losing our life's brightness and beauty, and we know it not. We allow
ourselves to become less thoughtful, less obliging, less kindly, less
forgetful of self, less charitable toward the mistakes of others, less
tolerant of others' faults and weaknesses. People to whom we have been a
comfort in the past, begin to note a change in the degree of our
congenialness and our spirit of helpfulness. We are not interested in the
needs and troubles of others, as we used to be. Friends apologize for us by
saying that we are not well, that we have cares and sufferings of our own,
or that we are growing old. But neither illness nor age nor pain should
make us less Christlike. Paul tells us that though our outward man is
decaying, yet our inward man should be renewed day by day. The true
life within us should become diviner continually in its beauty—purer,
stronger, sweeter, even when the physical life is wasting.
To all men there come, along the years, experiences that
are hard to endure. Disappointments and misfortunes come—in one form or
another. Business ventures do not always succeed. In some cases there are
years of continual and repeated disaster. Ill health saps the energy and
strength of some men, leaving them unequal to the struggle for success, and
compelling them to drop out of the race. Life is hard for many people, and
there are those who do not continue brave and sweet in the
struggle. Some lose heart and become soured in experiences of adversity.
Nothing is sadder then to see a man give way to disheartenment and
depression, and grow contentious and gloomy or soured in spirit.
Renan, in one of his books, recalls an old French legend
of a buried city on the coast of Brittany. With its homes, public buildings,
churches, and thronged streets, it sank instantly into the sea. The legend
says that the city's life goes on as before down beneath the waves. The
fishermen, when in calm weather they row over the place, sometimes think
they can see the gleaming tips of the church spires deep in the water, and
fancy they can hear the chiming of bells in the old belfries, and even the
murmur of the city's noises. There are men who, in their later years, seem
to have an experience like this. The life of youthful hopes, dreams,
successes, and joys had been sunk out of sight, submerged in misfortunes and
adversities, vanished altogether. All that remains is a memory. In their
discouragement they seem to hear the echoes of the old songs of hope and
gladness, and to catch visions of the old beauty and splendor—but that is
all. They have nothing real left. They have grown hopeless and bitter.
But this is not worthy living for one who is immortal,
who was born to be a child of God. The hard things are not meant to mar our
life,—they are meant to make it all the braver, the worthier, the nobler.
Adversities and misfortunes are meant to sweeten our spirits—not to make
them sour and bitter.
We need to think of these things. There should be a
constant gaining, never a losing in our spiritual life. Every year should
find us living on a higher plane than the year before. Old age should always
be the best of life, not marked by emptiness and decay—but by richer
fruitfulness and more gracious beauty. Paul was growing old, when he spoke
of forgetting things behind and reaching forth to things ahead. His best was
yet to be attained. So it should always be with older Christian. We must
ever be turning northward, toward fuller life and holier beauty. This can be
the story of our experience, only if our life is hidden with Christ in God.
Torn away from Christ, no life can keep its zest or its radiance.
Another phase of this call, as it comes to us in life's
quiet days, is to increased activity. We cannot fulfill our Master's
requirement for us as Christians, unless we are ready for self-denying
devotion to service. A birthday or the beginning of a new year, is a most
fitting time for renewed interest in Christian work. "You have compassed
this mountain long enough." That is, you have been going through the old
rounds, living the old way—long enough. Is any one of us satisfied with the
measure of work we have done for Christ during the past year, for example?
"Laborers for Christ," is the rule of the kingdom. The work of the church is
not meant to be done by a few special people. Some portion of it is to be
done by each one, and that portion is not transferable. No one can do your
work for you, for each one has enough of his own to fill his hands. No one
can get any other to do his allotted task for him. All any one can do is his
own little part. Are there any of us who have done nothing?
We need not press the question for the past, for what has
not been done in its proper time—cannot be done now. The hands that have
been idle through a past year can do nothing in the new year to make up the
lack. If you have left a blank where there ought to have been beautiful work
done—there can be only a blank there forever. You cannot fill it now. Toil
as you will any new year, you cannot make the year you left empty—anything
but empty. We cannot go back over our life and do omitted or neglected
duties. Shall we not cease going round and round in the same little grooves,
and turn northward, with our faces toward God and heaven? Our Master is not
exacting—he does not require of us what we cannot do. All expected of anyone
is his part—what he can do. No one is required to do the work of the whole
world—but everyone is required to be faithful in his own place. Lincoln
said: "I am not bound to win—but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to
succeed—but I am bound to live up to the light I have."
We get into the habit of talking about Christian life and
work, as if it were something altogether apart from common work, the work we
do on our business days. But if we are living as we should, everything we
are called to do, is work for Christ. We need heavenly grace for our secular
tasks and duties—quite as much as for our religious services and
occupations. We need grace for all our life on earth, not only for our
worship, our religious activities, our Christian service—but for our
business affairs, our amusements, all our tasks and duties, our home
matters, our plans and pleasures. The smallest things in our lives should
get their inspiration from heaven.
Thus we are ever being called to a new life—a holier
life, greater activity, and better service. "You have compassed this
mountain long enough—turn northward!" Break away from the routine. Do not
keep on doing just what you have been doing heretofore. Do not be content to
go over the same old rounds. Turn northward—start in new lines, with your
face toward God. Do larger things than you have done heretofore. Pray more
fervently. Love better, more sweetly, more helpfully. Let Christ have all
your life. Do not merely go round the mountain's base—climb up its side!
Every time you compass it, gain a little higher range, get nearer heaven,
We never should forget with what sympathy heaven looks
down upon us continually. God is not a hard master. He knows how frail we
are. He remembers that we are dust. Therefore he is patient with us. He
judges us graciously. If we try to do our best, though we seem to fail,
marring our work, he understands and praises what we have done. With such a
master we should never lose heart, never grow discouraged, never become
depressed, never let gloom or bitterness into our heart—but should always
keep brave, hopeful, sweet—forgetting the past and stretching forward!
"Not that I have already obtained all this, or have
already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for
which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 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."