1 Corinthians 9:24-27
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
One of the greatest challenges to a competing athlete is putting mistakes and failures behind them. A painful wipe-out on a practice run or seeing the athlete ahead of you getting medical aid following a career ending fall must be difficult to overcome. If they have a previous fall or loss stuck in their head, it will prevent them from moving forward to victory. Paul admits that he has not arrived, but is moving forward rather than being stuck.
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. 13 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, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
The voices of past failings are always ready to have a place in my head and heart. A conflict that was not able to be resolved, my best sharing about Jesus not resulting in a person deciding to love Jesus, a family leaving our church because it did not fulfill their expectations or prayers in faith that did not result in healing are stories that become hurdles to me for pursuing the prize. I have to be like Paul and forget what is behind and continue pressing towards the prize.
Are you pursuing the prize that lasts forever?
What things of the past that needs to be forgotten?