Friday May 29, 2009
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 3:13-14.
Of course, forgetting is not that hard as we age, although too often it is the things we wish to remember that we forget, and the things we would rather forget remain doggedly in our memories! Especially for me, I am only too happy to forget my prostate cancer and the surgery that it provoked.
Apart from some lingering effects that are slowly clearing up and a necessary quarterly check up, I am now feeling much the same as I did before surgery; this despite some aggressive surgery and a slower than normal original recovery. The surgeon’s prediction to my doctor seems to be coming true: “He’s young and healthy and will recover.” Healthy! I understand that part but young? Perhaps at 73 I’m still young compared with the majority of prostate cancer victims he has to deal with! I am so thankful to all who participated in prayer and care, and especially to God who is the Great Healer, for my healing to date.
But forgetting what is behind is only part of the equation; what of that which is ahead? Probably due to age, I am continually impressed with redeeming the time I have left. Whatever triumphs or regrets I may have in regard to the past, it is how we finish that counts. Let me quote Robertson McQuilkin from a book mark I carry in my Bible.
I fear the Dark Spectre may come too soon—or do I mean too late?
That I should end before I finish, or finish but not well.
That I should stain your honour, shame your name, grieve your loving heart.
Few, they tell me finish well Lord, let me get home before dark.
What are those responsibilities that weigh upon me the most? Firstly, it is the primary responsibility that we have as Christians—the family that God has given us. What legacy am I leaving them and what encouragement for them to maintain the faith? With almost 20 in the family and probably more to come, it is an awesome but immensely enjoyable task. Beyond that I feel the increasing burden to use to the fullest God’s gift of writing for a wider ministry.
Not sure who will read it or when. Sometimes our gifts are more apparent to strangers than those closest to us. And frequently our work is only recognized after we depart. But front and centre are not the results I obtain, but the drive to complete the work I feel constrained to do. That is what will obtain “the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”