Never Look Back

No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,

(Philippians 3:13 NLT)  


The Miracle Mile

In 1954 Englishman Roger Bannister and Australian John Landy, who were the first two men to break the four-minute mile, met in a race in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, called the “Miracle Mile.” With ninety-seconds remaining in the race and Landy ahead, he glanced back over his left shoulder to see his opponent’s location.  At that moment, Bannister surged past Landy on his right side and won the race by eight-tens of a second.  Many observed that if Landy had not looked back, he would have won the race.


The Apostle Paul had learned what John Landy had not, that taking our eyes off the prize is never good.  There is a principal in life that what you focus on, you tend to achieve. Paul knew that the key to success was to forget the past, both good and bad. 


Many have noted that rarely are people defeated in their faith by today’s problems alone, but by also dwelling at the same time on yesterday’s failures.  We are not designed to multi-task present and past struggles.  Looking back on past failures, other than for redemptive purposes, is always counterproductive.  Paul knew that he had “not achieved” or become perfect, but he must press on, looking forward, to become more like Christ.


Conversely, considering past successes can limit our future vision.  Every new movement of God has been resisted by the previous one.  Good can become the worse enemy of best.  Certainly, if anybody could have rested on his past achievements, it was the Apostle Paul.  He had suffered and achieved more than any man alive, yet he knew that he had to continue to strive until he arrived in the presence of Christ in Heaven. John Landy dominated the race until the very end when he took his eyes off the prize.


Are you, like Landy, going to lose the race because you are looking back? Keep your eyes on the prize, heavenward.


The image is used with permission by Microsoft.


Ken Barnes, the author of  “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places”  YWAM Publishing
Ken Barnes’ Book Site

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