There is an old Chinese proverb that says, “Do not fear going forward slowly; fear only to stand still.” While each of us would wish to have already arrived at the place in life where our lives were fully dedicated to Christ, the truth is we are all on a life long journey. The simple fact of the matter is that we will never fully reflect the glory of God as long as we walk on this earth. It is in the striving to look like Him, the scratching and clawing along the way, in which we find satisfaction. As long as we are moving forward, drawing a little bit closer to Him, we find joy and purpose in our life. Forward motion is the key; there is nothing to fear as long as we keep looking at Jesus. When Peter walked on the water, he was not afraid; he showed great faith by focusing on Christ. It was only when he ceased to move forward, when he took his eyes off of Jesus that he suddenly had reason to fear; indeed, he was in serious trouble! The part of that story that always amazed me is when Peter began to sink, Jesus reached out and grabbed him. That means Peter was close enough to the Lord to touch Him when he chose to stop moving forward. I think we too tend to miss great opportunities and blessings because we stop short of the goal. We get tired and lose faith, rather than pushing on just a little further. Most successes are found just the other side of giving up. If we would only push ourselves a little longer, if we would only endure another moment, we just might find all that God has for us. The key is to keep moving forward no matter what.
Greg Boyd recently commented, “The past is gone. The future is not yet. This moment is all that is real. And it’s full of God! Don’t miss it. Don’t miss Him.” Once we have moved beyond this moment, there is no way we can recapture it. That opportunity for achievement has passed, never to return. Was it a moment that we moved forward or was it one we spent standing still? Did we make a difference in the life of anyone in the moment that just passed? The next moment of our life has not yet occurred, but we can prepare for that time to come by moving forward in this moment. Every time we choose to move forward, we create momentum. The more momentum we create, the more difficult it becomes to stop. We want to be forward moving people, people who seek Jesus in every moment of our lives. We can’t redeem a past moment and we can’t fully control what our future may bring, but we can choose to move forward right now, and that is all that matters. If we move forward now, we can look back and see progress. If we move forward now, we can influence the future with our momentum and prepare for whatever may come. They key is what we do right now, and we must move forward; we must never stand still.
Jesus calls each of us, just as He called Peter, to come to Him. He calls out to us through the storms of life, through the waves of emotion and the winds of change. In faith we walk towards Him, and when we do, we have nothing to fear. All our problems, frustrations and worries melt away when He becomes our sole focus. We know as long as we keep our eyes on Him, we are safe and nothing this world can throw at us can deter us from our mission of seeking Him. There is security in keeping our focus on Jesus and walking on the path that leads to Him. It is only when we pause to take in our surroundings, it is only when we look back at what we have left behind, it is only then that we falter and become lost.
Are you keeping your eyes on Jesus and moving toward Him in this moment? Is your focus now on Him and Him alone? There is no fear in Jesus, and there is no fear if we would but have the faith to seek Him and only Him. No matter what happens in life, as long as our eyes are locked on His and we are moving toward Him, nothing else matters. The key is to always follow Him, to always move along the path He walks, no matter how slowly we might be following. The longer we follow, the more earnestly we seek to keep to His way, the faster our pace will become. Speed is not the goal, persistence is. Each moment carries the opportunity to turn back, to rest or to move on. The choice is ours right now; in the blink of an eye the moment, and our opportunity, will be lost forever. Are you moving forward or standing still?