“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. 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. All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained. Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do.” Philippians 3:12-17
Life moves pretty fast at the start of every school year. There are classrooms to find, schedules to balance and a million and one organizations screaming for every student to get involved with them. And in that melee it can be easy to get lost physically and spiritual. Great beginnings require focus. The apostle Paul understood that. He knew that to achieve the biggest goals in his life he had to set aside everything that might pull him away from his target. And he coolly tells his friends to follow his example and do the same. More than that, he tells them to watch others who are doing that. Its an accountability thing. Or maybe a ‘strength in numbers’ thing. Maybe both. The point is that there are so many things going on at the beginning of every school year, it’s easy to forget what’s ultimately important—to love God and others like He loved us. Don’t get distracted by the tyranny of an urgent schedule, or the seduction of pleasant opportunities. Take Paul’s advice and buddy up with some people who are likewise focused on the cross. Do it now and create your own great beginning.