Don’t Lose Sight of the Goal

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. –Philippians 3:14

Numerous sources have told the story of Florence Chadwick, who on one foggy morning in July of 1952 waded into the waters off Catalina Island, intent on swimming across the channel to the Southern California mainland. This challenge was not too difficult for Chadwick as she had been the first woman ever to swim the English Channel in both directions.

However, on this day, having lost sight of the land because of the fog, Chadwick decided to give up. As it turned out, she had only been one-half mile from reaching her goal. She was not exhausted or cold. Rather the fog, having obscured her vision from the goal, was the reason she quit. Still, some two months later, on a clear day, Florence Chadwick attempted the same challenge — and this time succeeded, setting a new speed record, because she was able to keep her eye upon the goal.

As Christians, we have a goal: to follow Jesus, to become like Him, to love and serve Him with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength. But, we often encounter the world’s fog, which can obscure our vision and keep us from seeing the goal clearly. I’m afraid too many of us have chosen to give up pursuing the goal because we become distracted by fog — the fog of busyness, of career, of material pursuits, of self-interest. We will all experience foggy days, spiritually speaking. Don’t quit. Persevere. Do your best to keep your eyes focused on Jesus who awaits with reward in hand, at the finish line.

I love the words of that old hymn written by H.H. Lemmel,
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,

Look full in His wonderful face;

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim

In the light of His glory and grace.

Today, let the fresh breeze of the Holy Spirit’s presence in your life blow away the world’s fog. Fix your eyes upon Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.

GOING DEEPER:
1. What “fog” exists in your life that obscures your vision and hinders you from following Christ?

2. What actions can you take to regain your clear vision in order to pursue the goal of following Christ? Will you commit those actions to the Lord today?

FURTHER READING:
Hebrews 12:2; 2 Timothy 4:7-8; Hebrews 10:36; James 1:12

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Jim Liebelt

Jim Liebelt

Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for HomeWord. Jim has over 35 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, having served over the years as a pastor, author, consultant, mentor, trainer, college instructor, and speaker. Jim’s HomeWord culture blog also appears on Crosswalk.com and Religiontoday.com. Jim and his wife Jenny live in Quincy, MA.

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