"Not that I have already reached the goal or am already fully mature, but I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus."
On August 11-12 I traveled to Camp Randall Stadium on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison to watch one of my favorite activities: the Drum Corps International World Championships. For those of you who may not be familiar with the activity, I will describe it as "the ultimate intensity of marching music." While not an official sport, I can tell you from experience, both as an athlete and as a former participant in this activity, that you work just as hard during a summer on tour with a drum and bugle corps as you do during an athletic season. These young people, ages 15-21, spend 2.5 months traveling across the country in a bus, sleeping on gym floors, marching and playing outside 10-12 hours a day and for what? Perfection. The ultimate goal is to march and play an 11-minute show as perfectly as possible, and it all peaks at the World Championships.
Perfection. . .
The phrase, "nobody's perfect" seems to be somewhat obsolete these days. It seems like everywhere you go, that's what people expect: the perfect job, the perfect athlete, the perfect spouse, the perfect kids, the perfect life, etc. The list goes on, even to include the perfect Christian. And what exactly does that mean? What is a perfect Christian? What is a perfect anything?
I love what Paul says in this passage. Here is one of the greatest men of God ever, author of pretty much half of the New Testament, and he's claiming to not be perfect, BUT (I love these next three words), "I press on. . ." As humans, we're never going to be perfect, but we press on. We keep training, we keep working, we keep loving, we keep living to fulfill the perfect plan God has for our lives.
By the way, just in case you're interested in witnessing the quest for perfection, you can check out the DCI World Championships when they're aired Tuesday, September 5 at 8:00 pm EST on ESPN2.
1. In what areas of your life do you feel the pressure to be perfect?
2. Are there times in your life when you feel like giving up because you don't feel like you can live up to the standards?
3. Read Paul's entire message in Philippians 3:12-14. Challenge yourself to "press on" when things get a little rough.