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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Destiny or not

12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. (Philippians 3:12-14 NLT)

It is a well-known fact that an object moves toward where it is pointed or directed. In terms of our lives, it has to do with our "line of sight" - we focus on something and we move toward it - or avoid it all together as something dangerous we should stay away from. Unless we are cliff diving we probably don't move beyond the edge of the cliff - but how many times do we get right up to the edge just to "look over" to see what is there? There are times we allow things into our focus, getting just a little too close to the edge for our safety and security - whether it be in the realm of our emotions, spiritual lives, or our physical body. We push beyond where we should go all because our focus draws us into someplace we probably shouldn't go.

Focus is a BIG deal, friends. It most certainly has a great deal to do with our destination, but it may also have a great deal to do with our destiny! Some think of one's destiny in life as one's "lot" in life - it is the combined set of circumstances that lead up to the outcome one realizes. It is more than fate that determines our course, though. It is a whole lot of choices along the way, sometimes with multiple course changes just based on what it is we are choosing to focus on at that moment. The destination is our target - destiny is what we feel we have little to no control over - it just is what it is. 

The truth is that we often do more to affect our destiny by the destination we are determined to reach than we might first want to admit. We make choices - both good and bad - and the sum of these choices often is described by some as our "destiny" in life - simply based on what they see as a result of our choices. The destination we reach at one point in our lives is determined by what it is we choose to focus upon with the greatest of determination. If I focus on losing weight and getting in shape, I drop pounds, lower my cholesterol, and generally feel more energized. The destination was a certain "pound range" or "size range", but was this my "destiny" in life? Not really, it was a place I wanted to reach - a point in time I hoped I would sustain, but it doesn't sustain me!

Our destiny often can be thought of more as what sustains us - what keeps us in the race, so to speak. I am determined to realize my eternity is spent with Jesus. That determination affects the choices I make, but I'll have to admit it doesn't affect ALL of the choices I make. Some of the time I choose to focus on stuff not really helping me grow in Christ - it isn't that I am changing my destiny by that lack of focus, because I am still a child of God. It is that I may not realize the fullness of the destination God has planned for me in this lifetime! While they are very similar, one thing is for sure - what we determine to be our focus in life will define our destiny into eternity. Just sayin!