Nowhere To Go But Forward

“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 3:12-14

A few days ago I sat in mind-numbing rush hour traffic.

I had an appointment across the other side of the city and knowing the nature of the traffic flow, I left early. As I encountered brake-lights earlier than expected, I still thought, “No problem. I left early. I’ll make it on time.” But sitting frustrated later in more traffic, traffic that moved at a snail’s pace, deviating into downtown, and circling around the freeway, didn’t help much. A trip that should have taken 50 minutes tops, took an hour and 35 minutes!

I sat, inching forward a few feet at a time, keeping my foot on the brake pedal as loud rap music snaked out of a car window crawling past me. A large semi truck with a massive silver grill with “Volvo” stamped across it, roared and rumbled behind me, seemingly inching closer and closer to the rear of my car with every rumble. I waited for the inevitable crunch as I envisioned this behemoth grill crumpling my rear bumper. With every inch I moved forward, the truck driver inched his way forward, and I held my breath as the grill got closer in my rear-view mirror.

As I sat, surrounded by cars and trucks of all sizes around me, motors rumbling, brakes squeaking, hedged in, with at least four lanes or more of stand-still traffic surrounding me, the thought that kept going through my mind was, “There’s nowhere to go but forward.”

Such are words about life.

Often we find ourselves hedged-in, trapped, not going where we thought, slowed down by what should have been a quick trip, pushed to a new unexpected path, or just at a stand-still. We think it would be better to go back where we were, but really, there is nowhere to go but forward. We can’t go back in time. We can only go forward.

And where might that “forward” take us? Some fear “forward” and scuttle backward to live in old familiar ways. Other adventurous souls see “forward” as an exciting place, the unknown is a discovery, good things are around the corner.

Where do you wrestle with going “forward” in your life?

I think the key, which I try to remind myself of, is that God is with us in the “forward”. God is walking along side and promises to navigate the present and the future. The past is the past. We can’t undo it. But we can say, “There’s nowhere to go but forward”, place our trust in the living God, and walk new steps today!

Prayer–“Gracious God, You are the God who walks close by as I move forward. Help me to move forward when I run into times when the path is unclear and give me the strength and joy to see your Presence at all times as I take those steps toward You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

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