"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 this I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for this prize of the upward call of God is Christ Jesus"
I have always been a person leaning into the next thing in my life. Looking to the future helps me enjoy the present because I know where I am going or where I hope to go someday. I am a 25-year-old who has a 10 year and a 20-year life plan. Neither plan is super detailed, but there are things that I want to do in my life, and my life plan helps me stay focused on working towards those goals. As we get older, sometimes it is easy to fall into the mundane structure of our lives. We do not look for something new; new is scary and well unknown. We forget to press on towards the goal. We still think about those past goals from time to time, but there is just not enough time to focus on those goals. We are no longer searching for our path because we think that we have found it.
Looking back at our childhood, people were continually asking us what we wanted to do when we grow up. We were always pressing onward towards the next event or school milestone. We were challenged with creating all the goals that we could think of. As children, we do not have the means to achieve many of our dreams, and others lose importance. Many plans are only able to be completed by an adult who can make their own choices. For example, I have wanted to be a teacher for almost my whole life. When I was graduating from pre-school, a goal of mine was to be just like my teacher. She was kind, compassionate, and loving.
When we are old enough, we sometimes lose sight of past goals. Sometimes, when we can make our own choices, our goals have to take a back seat to the lives we must live for the sake of personal responsibilities. I believe that our lives should be driven by God, family, and our goals; in that order. We must press on towards the goal and prize of eternity with God. To get to God, we must show His love in everything that we do here on Earth. I'm not talking about huge things like solving world hunger, but in our everyday lives by being a window to Christ. Through our actions each day of our lives, we can show every person we meet who we, ourselves, are striving to serve…God.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make straight your path."
God is looking out for us. He can help us on our paths' to reach him. We can find our purpose in life, our calling, our vocation, and our plan through our devotion to God. Calling upon God in every moment of my life for guidance, strength, and grace is how I hope to straighten my path. I am educated and have grown up in the Catholic Faith; I have a false sense of knowledge. It is easy to assume that I understand what is best for myself. That is where I am wrong. From the above verses, I need to remember to not lean on my understanding, but to acknowledge God. His way is not our way.
In acknowledging him, I call him into my life and ask for his support and advice to lead this humble servant. With His aid, working in union with Him, I can achieve my goals, and maybe the plans will change over time, and that is alright. A change in a goal is not the death of it, but the development of a different opportunity.
"Trust in the Lord" four simple words that are so hard for me to remember. I am a planner, and I like having a plan; I also understand nothing about the future. The future is not now, and I can plan for different future options, but I will not know what will happen until God's grace unfolds in the present. I will not be able to prepare for every change in my life, but when I lean on my past experiences, I can learn from them and continue onward to the prize. Change is hard, but change is also good. "I press on toward the goal for this prize of the upward call of God is Christ Jesus".