Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Now and The Not Yet

The song in the video above came flooding into my mind this morning after I was reading in Philippians and then went on to have a great conversation with my friend Mary.

I love it so much when God uses many different ways to show me something that He is wanting me to learn. He used Philippians 3:7-14 to talk with me about being careful not to judge others for where they are on their journey with Him. This thought continued as I was talking with Mary this morning. We each were sharing different things we are learning and doing in our lives, and we came to the realization that some of the things we are learning could only come through time and mistakes and getting up and trying again. It would be so much easier if someone could have just told us what we needed to learn and we immediately mastered it, but, most lessons need to be learned the hard way --- living through them, making the mistakes, trying one thing and failing and trying another and seeing it work.

I am seeing that I need to be very careful once I have learned something new in my journey with Jesus. I find that it is so easy for me to fall into judging people around me when they have not yet been taught the lessons I have learned. I find myself feeling more "spiritual", more "mature", "more than" them. YUCK!!!

What a dangerous and horrible place to be.

Paul, THE apostle Paul... didn't consider himself as "more than". He saw that even he had not arrived yet.

"I don't mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection! But I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ Jesus saved me for and wants me to be." Philippians 3:12

It is so easy for me to spot the mistakes, the flaws, the "less thans" in others. To laugh and put myself above them in my mind. But that is so wrong!

I am NOT "more than" anyone!

We are all on this journey. We all are pressing on to the end of the race, to the prize at the end.

Some started their journey at a different place than I did. Some have fallen down and need a helping hand up. Some need a friend to cheer them on as they push through the pain to keep going.

They certainly do not need someone standing on the sidelines yelling at them that they are doing it all wrong.

The other day I went to my friends' daughters' cross country meet at a local park. As the girls ran past in the pack, I cheered along with her parents when she ran by. As the race went on, I watched as her dad ran across the park to get to where she was heading. He waited there for her to come by and as she was pushing on toward the finish line, he shouted encouragement to her. "Keep going! You can do it! You can do this!"

We all need encouragement to press on, to keep going.

I know I do.

And I want to be that encourager for others in my life. I want to be standing there cheering my friends on to keep going, not telling them that they aren't doing it right.

We are no longer what we were before, but we are not all that we will be.

I want to keep that in mind as I walk this journey, for myself, but also for others.

"No, dear friends, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven." Philippians 3:13-14
"Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works." Hebrews 10:24
"Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them." Ephesians 4:29

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