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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Get your eyes on the prize

by Pam Roth
What keeps us from finishing what we start?  Some may say, “It’s just the way I am...it’s part of my personality...I’ve always been like that.” Or maybe you don’t feel like you have the support you need to accomplish your dreams or goals, so you become discouraged and quit.  

Whether it be yourself or others that keep you from completing a goal, how could you overcome the cycle of not finishing and instead, press on?  

Often as an analogy, those trying to inspire us “to finish” will use examples of athletes finishing a race; but, today, I want to use an illustration from nature that was provided for me in my own backyard.  

We have a bald spruce in our yard and the cardinals love it.  Often, we see the cardinals flying in and out of that big beautiful tree - hiding and building nests.  A few years ago, we decided to hang a bird feeder near that tree, so that the birds in our yard could have a bed and breakfast of sorts.  

We had a finch feeder and some seed in our garage, so we hung it up.  Unfortunately, that only frustrated the cardinals because they could not get the seeds from the smaller holes in the finch feeder; so, instead, they would fly directly to the ground to eat the leftovers provided by the other birds.  

After a few days, we decided to hang a bird feeder specifically for cardinals.  Well, do you know what those silly birds did?  You guessed it - they kept going for the leftovers.  But why?  

If only you could have seen me standing in front of my kitchen window encouraging those cardinals to “get their eyes on the prize.”  I would literally say out loud, “Come on...look up.  Get focused....you just flew past the bird feeder.  It’s yours, go for it!”  

Perhaps some of us are like those cardinals - we don’t believe that there is another option, so we quit or settle for something less.  Or maybe we convince ourselves that we don’t deserve anything better.  


So, what is it or who is it that is keeping you from finishing?  

Philippians 3:12-14 encourages us to finish, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.  Brothers, 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.” 

 

  • How could you apply the lesson of the cardinals to your life?  
  • What do you need to do differently to “get your eyes on the prize?”
  • And, who is it that could come alongside you and encourage you by providing the support that you need?  

Feel free to comment.

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