Brothers and sisters, 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. Philippians 3:13 NIV
Dog sitting is always an adventure. Each dog has a unique personality and when there are three of them it turns into a quest for attention.
After I am greeted and have returned love to each of the pups, Seneca and I start out on a walk around the neighborhood. I don’t see the two dogs out in the neighbor’s yard so I turn right but the next house has a loudly protesting pup on the porch that can see over her fence. We turn left instead and all goes well till the trip back. Main Street has a German Shepherd, a cute little brown Doberman issuing low growls and another barking porch dog of indeterminate heritage.
We make it to an alley safely with Seneca realizing no one wants to play. We are greeted by quiet until a vicious sounding pup runs up to the fence, followed by a sweet Corgi that seems interested when Seneca strains at the leash for a meet and greet. A few more yards down, hanging over the fence, is a Malamute. She is doing her version of the husky howl and I pull Seneca forward hoping she doesn’t jump the fence as it doesn’t look like much of a challenge. I wondered aloud to Seneca about the number of dogs out at that time of day.
Just like Seneca finally forgot the dogs that we passed and strained towards the next dog up ahead, we are told in Philippians 3:13 to forget the past and strain towards the future. To strain means to force oneself to make a strenuous or unusually great effort. The future can be scary, unknown, and exciting all at the same time. The past can be painful, known, and comfortable. How strenuously are we living each day, pressing forward with God? Are we pulling at the leash with an excitement for the journey?
John the Baptist was standing with his disciples when Jesus passed by. He told them that Jesus was the Lamb of God and they followed. Everywhere Jesus went, crowds of people gathered. He had something new and exciting to say and all attention was on him. He was the future. Jesus didn’t throw out the old. He lived and breathed everything God said and did. Hebrews 13:8 states, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today and forever”.
The world is watching us as Christ’s ambassadors (II Corinthians 5:20). Why would they want to join an outdated, lackadaisical bunch? Without compromising the truth of scripture, let’s show them the excitement of walking with Jesus everyday. Keep pressing on. Jesus is our past, present, and future. He is our all in all. Let us strenuously and with great effort, walk the walk. Jesus is our way forward.