"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."1
Vance Havner used to say that, "Worry, like sitting in a rocking chair, will keep you busy but won't get you anywhere."
This reminds me of the "famous story of Jean Henri Fabre, the French naturalist, and his processional caterpillars. He encountered some of these interesting creatures one day while walking in the woods. They were marching in a long unbroken line front to back, front to back. What fun it would be, Fabre thought, to make a complete ring with these worms and let them march in a circle.
"So, Fabre captured enough caterpillars to encircle the rim of a flowerpot. He linked them nose to posterior and started them walking in the closed circle. For days they turned like a perpetual merry-go-round. Although food was near at hand and accessible, the caterpillars starved to death on an endless march to nowhere."2
There are lots of people like this. They worry themselves sick over unfounded fears which all but paralyze them, not realizing that 95 percent of things they fear never happen, and the other five percent probably won't happen either.
Many men, when they arrive at middle age, experience a mid-life crisis with a sense of despair, feeling that they haven't accomplished anything worthwhile with their life to date, and feel that they have nothing better to look forward to in the future.
Other people wander aimlessly through life without a purpose and without any meaningful and worthwhile goals. Even more tragic are the millions who go through life without ever having made plans and preparation for life after death.
Similar to the processional caterpillars, these people not only spend their life going in circles, but go in ever decreasing circles until their life diminishes into nothing. A terrible way to live. A tragic way to die.
But for those who discover their God-given life-purpose and plan and live accordingly as well as living in harmony with the will of God, when they come to the end of life's journey, they have the assurance of meeting God face to face and hearing his welcoming words at the entrance of heaven. "Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord." A joyous way to live. A triumphant way to die!
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you that you do have a divine purpose for my life. Please help me to discover what it is and, with your help, start working on it today. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Philippians 3:13-14 (NIV).
2. From King Duncan www.sermons.com.