By Debra Whittington
Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12-14
On a recent trip to visit my family I took a little stroll down memory lane, literally. On our morning walk, Mark and I took the same route I took for years to the elementary school I attended as a child. Along the route I remembered friends who lived along the way and who I lost track of many years ago.
During a walk on another morning we passed by a new housing project that was overgrown with mesquites just over a year ago. Now there are over a dozen houses complete with landscaping. Growing up I never imagined houses would ever be in that area.
Later in the week we went to the same theater that my mom and I both worked at during my teen years. Although the exterior is almost the same as it was in those years, the interior is totally different.
I pointed to a corner of the building where the concession stand once was and is now a blank wall. The theater itself is divided in half so two movies are shown at the same time. All that remains is the balcony, which is blocked off from use.
It would be easy to think about all of the good things that happened during my childhood, but the bad things made an impact on me as well.
During the same trip, we were coming back at night from El Paso. I thought about the night my grandmother made that long trip back to Artesia after my grandfather passed away suddenly.
While it was nice to relive most of these memories and share them with Mark, I realized how much those memories shaped my life and made me who I am today. After arriving home, I took time to think more about my experience and allowed myself to reflect on the good and bad things.
Growing up, I had no idea how my life would turn out. Along the way were plenty of failures, although now I like to think of them of setbacks or turns in the road. I didn’t always try to do my best and even times when I tried with all my might the results weren’t always what I hoped.
Even as I look back at the past year and the goals I set for myself, I think about my accomplishments and setbacks. I didn’t complete all of the tasks I set for myself. However, one of them is well on the way to completion. I might even attain that goal this year.
I keep track with the calendar and it is rewarding to see how the Lord helped me to do it.
I started strong on another goal and then did a complete turnaround before the end of the year. I am still determined to reach that goal but I will have to make up some lost ground to get back to where I started last Jan. 1.
Life is full of attained goals, those that are nearing completion and those we struggle with and experience setbacks.
Sometimes our goals seem impossible or difficult, but I believe the Lord gives us dreams and abilities to attain them. In Psalms 37:3-5 it tells us: “Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass”.
When something is in the Lord’s will, I firmly believe He will help us attain it if we are willing to fully apply ourselves. The problem I find is that sometimes I try to get ahead of the Lord’s timing, behind His timing or try to take matters in my own hands.
Whether you call them New Year’s resolutions, goals or anything else everyone needs something to strive for.
Whatever you strive for, never forget to put Jesus Christ first in your life and everything else will follow. As Jesus told us in Luke 12:31, “But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you”.