Frank Lloyd Wright, the famous architect who designed many magnificent buildings and structures, was asked by a reporter towards the end of his career which one of his designs was his favorite. Without even stopping to think, Mr. Wright answered, “My next one.” Mr. Wright exemplified an attitude that should characterize God’s children—an attitude that says, “My future will be better than my past; last year was great, but this year will be greater; my greatest accomplishments are ahead of me. My best book is yet to be written; my best sermon is yet to be preached; my best business deal is yet to be made. My marriage was okay last year, but I’m taking it to another level this year. I was a blessing to many people last year, but this year I am going to be an even greater blessing. I’m taking the quality of my giving and my service up a notch. My best days are not behind me; they are before me.”
When we examine the words of Paul in Philippians 3:12-16, it is clear that this was the attitude of the apostle. He was committed to continual growth, improvement and personal development. He was convinced that God always had more for him to be, to know, and to do, than he had yet attained and that his greatest fulfillment would come from reaching for God’s best. He wrote, “Forgetting those things that are behind, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Just as necessity is the mother of invention, a divine dissatisfaction with the status quo is the mother of spiritual progress and development. Until you feel some measure of dissatisfaction with where you are in your relationship with God, with where you are in fulfilling your life purpose, with where you are in your family and personal relationships, in your church involvement, in your career, you will lack the motivation to do anything to make them better. When Paul wrote these words, he had already experienced great success in his ministry, but he refused to become comfortable and to settle for less than God’s best. As long as he had not yet become all that Jesus wanted him to be, he would not settle for where he was.
We need to be able to appreciate where we are, while acknowledging that God’s greatest blessings lie ahead and our greatest days are before us. Don’t make the mistake so many do of sitting on their laurels. When you do well, thank God and those who helped you, congratulate yourself, and then keep moving. Don’t settle for being an average you. Decide you will be the best you. One of the outstanding marks of a successful man, a mature believer, is that he believes he can be better.
God has called every person to pursue an upward journey; to follow a path in life that keeps us reaching higher and higher.
So, keep reaching!