Friday, May 1, 2009

Pressing On with Post-It Notes

"I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus...let us hold true to what we have attained." (Philippians 3:14, 16)

Post-it notes are somewhat of a double-edged sword for me. On one hand, they are a very convenient way to leave myself reminders and important memos. They are convenient in that they can be attached to pages, desktops, and other important, relevant places. They do not take up space. From all accounts, the post-it note is very helpful. They even make for nice bookmarks from time to time.

However, there is a downside. They become outdated so often. Old news. Old information. They are easily misplaced. They are small, so they are often lost in the clutter. Also, they are known to fold up and become a source of unwanted desk-trash if they are not eventually discarded and maintained all along. Although they are extremely convenient when we need them, they also can become a source of aggravation.

Paul introduces an interesting concept as he relates our spiritual walk with the concepts of both pressing forward and living up to past attainments--old information, old growth. Sometimes, we can become frustrated with our spiritual lives because we, like a post-it note, just seem so cluttered with spiritual information that we have no clear direction. So much bible knowledge. So little clue as to what to do with it. So much church clutter. So much Scripture scribble. And before we know it, we feel almost overwhelmed with the clutter of the Christian life. Maybe we don't feel like we've grown enough in comparison to the amount of knowledge we've gained over a specific amount of time. We have all of these spiritual "post-it notes" and "bookmarks" to show with little or no feeling of spiritual growth in our lives. Sometimes we all can feel like we are spiritually "lost in the clutter". Lost in past growth. Lost in yest er-years growth. Yet, Paul tells us to press forward. Then he tell us to remember back to be "true to what we have attained" already. What is Paul really saying here?

In a way, Paul is telling us to press on with post-it notes.

As we go about our walk with Christ Jesus, we have all of these reminders of the times that God has spoken to our hearts. We have all of the spiritual "post-it" notes that remind us of the things we have been taught. We need these. But, we are not to be content with them. We should strive to continually balance the desire to grow forward while remembering and putting into practice what God has already shown and made fruitful in our lives in the past.

So if you are frustrated today that you aren't farther along in your Christian life by now. If you feel as though you are walking through your Christian life with "post-it" notes stuck all over you. If you just don't feel like you have made much forward progress lately. Take heart. We need the reminders. We need the guidance they provide. But more than that, we need to be able to press forward even when we feel like we've accumulated a bunch of spiritual clutter.

After all, reminders are a good thing. Let us live up to what we have already attained. And after doing so, continue to press on in Christ Jesus our Lord. Post-it notes and all.