I press on!
'I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.' Philippians 3:14
Rock climbing is an increasingly popular sport. There is a climbing wall at Christ’s school and lots across the UK. Many teenagers evidently like to take on physically demanding challenges. I once enjoyed rock climbing too. I loved the challenge of the climb with its overhangs, chimneys and limited hand and footholds. When I reached the summit the exhilaration was amazing. There is a mid-point in every climbing challenge where a climber has to decide whether to press on toward the summit or give up.
We are emerging from a prolonged, at times frustrating, period of Covid-19 restrictions to our personal and corporate freedoms. There is a lot of rebuilding to accomplish. This will need character-building qualities including tenacity, resilience and the determination not to give up. The Apostle Paul urged his followers not to give up but to press on towards the mark (Phil 3 v14).
This rebuilding time offers many learning opportunities to develop personal qualities and skills. However, research shows that projects usually fail in the period between an enthusiastic start and a final finish. Why is this? Sometimes people get tired and bored with the nitty-gritty grind of the project. Problems arise that take more time and energy to resolve than anticipated, putting back the targeted finishing time. Financial forecasts often allow for budgets that fall short of the actual costs, resulting in insufficient funds to finish the project.
Jesus said we should count the cost before taking on challenges. "Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won't you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?” (Luke 14:28).
Our HTR community is facing many challenges in the post-C-19 period. We need people of faith, like Barnabas, ‘The Son of encouragement' (Acts 4:36), who will help us to keep going when we flag in energy and lack the zeal to finish the work Christ has begun in us and in our HTR community.