Starting the New Year off Right

Philippians 3:13-14  Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,  I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.


The greatest runner of the early 1900’s was a man named Glenn Cunningham.  Glenn Cunningham was involved in a fire at the age of eight that burned his legs so badly, doctors told him he would never walk again.  The burns were so bad that the doctors recommended amputating his legs.  Glenn and his parents agreed to try a new form of therapy in an effort to keep Glenn’s legs.  Glenn lost all of his toes on his left foot, the arch of the same foot was destroyed, and he lost much of the skin on his shin and knees.  In spite of all of this, Glenn determined to walk again which he did, two years after his accident.  Walking was not enough for Glenn.   If he could make himself walk, he could make himself run.  Glenn pushed himself until the day came when he could run.  Glenn kept running, first running for his high school, then for Kansas University.  He would be selected to run in the 1932 Olympics for the United States, in which he won a silver medal.  In 1934, Glenn set the world record for running the mile at 4:06.8.  Glenn’s story has inspired many to “hang in there” and keep their eyes on their goal.  Glenn’s example shows us what we can accomplish when we keep our eyes on our goal.  Glenn Cunningham was a Christian.  He started a ranch for underprivileged children, which he and his wife ran for 30 years, reaching over 9,000 young people.

The apostle Paul tells us in Philippians 3:13-14 that there was a mark or a goal that he was pressing toward.  That goal motivated Paul to push or press himself further.  That goal got Paul up in the morning, it helped Paul push through the times that were tough.  At the end of Paul’s life he had accomplished many great things.  I believe the reason that he accomplished many things that others did not was the goal that he kept in front of himself. 

January 1 of every year, millions of people make resolutions to “better themselves.”  Some people want to eat better or exercise more, some vow to spend more time with family, and the list of resolutions is seemingly endless.  I have made resolutions; some I have kept, some I did not.  Several years ago I decided that I did not want to make several resolutions that I may or may not keep.  I decided that I would make one major goal along with some other things I would like to accomplish that year. 

This year, I would like to propose a goal to everyone, a goal that will change your life.  The goal is not complicated, although it is not easy. I have struggled to reach this goal, and will continue to struggle the rest of my life.  The goal is to know God better, and to live life how He wants me to live.  This is not an easy task.  No one has ever lived their entire life exactly how God wants.  If I make an effort to know God a little better each day, and to be a little bit better of a Christian today than yesterday I will be much closer to what God wants me to be.  It took two years of work before Glenn Cunningham was able to walk.  Glenn kept striving every day, and achieved greatness.  You and I can achieve greatness by striving to be close to Him every day. 

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