I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
“I’m going to make it! You can think whatever you want to now, but you’ll see how serious I am one day. I’m going be an astronaut!”
I really couldn’t have been any more serious when I first said these words. Somewhere around the age of ten, I was addressing my brother and sister in the family room of my parents’ house. We had just finished watching a special on PBS about NASA and the space program. Although I did make it to Space Camp and back before middle school, my dream slowly disappeared with time.
I’m sure there were several different factors that contributed to my loss of interest in becoming an astronaut. The fact that I hated math and that I had cried like a baby when assigned the responsibility of landing our simulated shuttle at Space Camp were among them. Behind all of these factors, however, there is one underlying truth: I simply lacked the motivation.
This lack of motivation (or absence of discipline if we’re going to be honest) is something that many Christian’s struggle with on a daily basis. It’s easy to get fired up when we go to summer camp or a weekend retreat. The difficulty usually doesn’t show up until we come home and try to “keep the faith” by holding on to this “fire”.
In a book I was recently reading by Clayton King, he has a chapter entitled On Fire For God? in which he questions the phrase we use so often. His point is that a fire burns quickly and often leaves nothing behind but ashes and smoke. “If we could replace our obsession with being “fired up” all the time with an obedience to walk in the Spirit, abide in Christ, and know God, our lives may prove to be more consistent for the glory of God.”
I’d have to say I agree with him, and I imagine the Apostle Paul would as well. How is your walk with the Lord? Does it resemble Paul’s consistency and passion for Christ or does it look more like my past desire to be an astronaut? I encourage you to evaluate your goals for life? What is your prize? If you’re like Paul, and that prize is the “upward call of Christ Jesus,” keep it in front of you this year. Don’t allow it to be overshadowed by life, but rather, make that goal life itself (Philippians 1:21). If your goal is anything else, you may want to get used to the up-and-down feelings of a “fired up” Christianity.