Leave it Behind

Read: Philippians 3:7-14

Recently I was listening to one of my favorite albums by the Irish band U2.  “All That You Can’t Leave Behind” has so many songs that deal with our propensity to hang on to things instead of letting them go and moving on.  Many of the songs on that album deal with themes that echo the words of the apostle Paul in 1 Philippians 3 when he speaks of, “forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.” In verse 14 he goes on to say, “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

Here are some of the U2 lyrics that caught my attention.  As most U2 songs do, these lyrics challenge you to think and ponder about what is being said. Many of them echo the biblical advice of holding on loosely to earthly things and embracing the new, beautiful day that is ahead.

“You’re packing a suitcase for a place none of us has been, a place that has to be believed to be seen; Walk on, Walk on, What you got you can’t deny it, can’t sell it or buy it.”   – Walk On

“Who’s’ to say when the wind will take you, who’s to know what it is will break you, I don’t know which way the wind will blow. Who’s to know when the time’s come around, don’t want to see you cry, I know that this is not goodbye.”   – Kite

“It was a beautiful day, don’t let it get away, take me to that other place, reach me, I know I’m not a hopeless case. What you don’t have you don’t need it now, What you don’t know you can feel it somehow, What you don’t have you don’t need it now, Don’t need it now, it was a beautiful day.”   – Beautiful Day
I realize that maybe not everyone will appreciate the music and lyrics of U2 as I do, but this passage in Philippians 3 is an encouragement for us to let go of some things in this world and embrace what is ahead. There are many people, books, music, and other things that can also encourage us to keep putting one foot in front of the other and move forward.  When the sun rises tomorrow you will have a new day to live, a beautiful day.
For those who believe in Jesus, are redeemed by his sacrifice, and follow God’s will, heaven awaits us when this life on earth is finished. For those who need to let go of earthly things there is encouragement here to move on and embrace the grace and forgiveness of Jesus. For those who are stuck in a bad place, there is encouragement here to move on to a better place.  That is my hope this week!  That you will leave the hurts and the disappointments of the past and “press on” or “walk on” to the new day that God has ahead for you.
Make it Personal:  Name something in your life that you have had trouble leaving behind.  Make it your focus this week to embrace the grace of Jesus and move on from that. Pray about it and ask the Lord to help you in that endeavor. Look ahead to what God has for you in the future and don’t let the baggage of the past continue to weigh you down.  You’ve got to leave it behind!
Have a great week, Glen Rhodes, Arthur Mennonite Church