“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 3:13b-14
This weekend I will be leaving my current church congregation and becoming a new member of another one.
My son will be leaving tomorrow to attend an “Accepted Students” weekend at his new college for the fall, and will soon be leaving the high school experience behind. He too, is becoming a “new member.”
As I sit and reflect about these two events, one day apart, I ponder the whole concept of “leaving”. I have been a member of my congregation since 2001. I have a slew of memories from the years past but have a new vision for the future. My son will be leaving high school behind, but has a new vision for the future as well. Leave-taking is challenging, exciting, a little scary, but a part of life. New experiences, new ideas, new challenges, and new opportunities await both of us.
As a “new member”, we will both encounter a new way of living, he on a campus, and me in a congregation. I have gotten to know the new church and other members for quite some time now, and he will get to know a future roommate, friends, and professors this weekend. Both experiences will set us up for success in our new surroundings.
In Paul’s letter to the Philippians, he is describing his action: He is moving forward, forgetting what is behind and pressing towards what is ahead, towards Christ. He is leaving the old and familiar behind and entering into something new.
As new members of a church and a college, my son and I will have the same action. As we move forward, I know we won’t forget what is behind us, but with the passing of time, it will grow dimmer, for sure. And we will be pressing ahead toward new goals and new experiences in life. All gifts of God.
Where do you sense you are leaving one thing and going to another in your life? Is this transition hard or easy? What makes it difficult and what excites you? Know that God will be with you in this time, and pray for an open heart to experience all He will have for you!
Prayer–“God of love, you are continually calling us to leave the old behind and go somewhere new. Open our hearts and minds to where you want us to be, and through the process may we see your hope, joy, and love. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”