Philippians 3: 10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, 11 if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead. 12 Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.
By the time the apostle Paul wrote this letter he had already accomplished so much in his life and ministry for the sake of the gospel. He had started many churches, raised up many leaders, traveled the known world preaching and teaching in Jesus’ name. One might think Paul had done enough. He could take a break. Put up his feet and rest. Retire. But it was not to be.
“I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Paul would one day be called to his heavenly home with Jesus, but not yet. So long as there was breath in his body, there was more to do. Since turning 55 earlier this month I’ve thought a bit about retirement. It’s still a number of years off for me, at least 15 years in my estimation. What will I do in retirement? I honestly don’t know because I love what I do. So long as my health holds out I believe I will continue to serve as a pastor, at least part-time, until I die. Literally. That may sound strange, but it’s what I’m thinking today.
Lord the day will come when you call me home. And in some ways I look forward to that day when the struggles and pain of this life finally cease. In the meantime please continue to use me for your purposes. Give me a heart like Paul’s, a heart that wants nothing more than to serve you forever. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.