Looking Ahead! [Author: Esther Agbi]
And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
The London 2012 Olympics is in section while writing this article. All the various sporting activities are interesting to me ,even the sporting events I did not know had been accepted as Olympic sports such as Karate, Judo, Trampolin, just to mention a few! Most interesting to me are the individual sports that require speed like swimming, track race, cycling. e.t.c.
I always watch such sporting events with great interest. I observe that the athletes are physically fit and ready mentally for the event. Years of practice, training and discipline must have gone into their preparedness.
There is always a kind of tenseness when the umpire says on your marks! Hearts racing ,different thoughts going through the mind such as am I going to succeed, are there others better than myself or have I wasted my time all these while preparing for the Olympics.? That brings me back to a picture I took recently while on vacation.
I posed as one boxing! A friend asked, why are you in this posture? I quickly replied in a joking manner that I was preparing for Olympics 2016. I was laughing out loud while responding to that question. This is because I knew that at that level of preparedness, I am going nowhere near the Olympics as an athlete, most probably as a spectator. My husband also laughed out loud because he knows that I am not even an athlete not to mention qualifying for the Olympics!
Coming back to our passage, as Christians, once committed to follow Christ, it is not good or befitting or even beneficial to look towards the back. We are in a race, a heavenly one at that matter.
Situations make some Christians to look back especially when going through difficult circumstances, disappointments, failures and the like .I pray that the Spirit of God would comfort and uplift anyone going through unpalatable circumstances.
When the umpire fires the gun in the air and says “GO” simultaneously, the athlete moves with speed, obeying the rules of the sport. Why? I believe because he has a goal! A medal is at stake, gold, silver or bronze. If this were not the case, he would not have appeared for the competition. If the athlete who is looking for an earthly reward or fame can subject himself to such stringent rules and no small discipline, how much more Christians aspiring to have a heavenly reward.
Some of these races are won by fractions of hundreds of a second. Just enough time to blink the eyes, that tells you how close. As I watch closely the cycling event, two athletes were neck to neck ,very close to the mark. Suddenly, one looked back and lost time. The other over took him and won the gold medal!
The Lord will help us always to look ahead that we may obtain the reward in Jesus name.
Your time spent serving the Lord shall not be in vain. You will reach the mark and obtain the prize.
Oh Lord, strengthen me as I focus on heaven and heaven alone with the cross before me and the world behind me in Jesus name.