Pressing On

Our church choir recently sang an anthem called “Press On.” It’s based on something the apostle Paul said in the Bible:
“Brothers, I do not consider myself to have embraced it yet. But this one thing I do: Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I keep pursuing the goal to win the prize of God’s heavenly call in the Messiah Jesus. Therefore, those of us who are mature should think this way. And if you think differently about anything, God will show you how to think.” (Philippians 3:13-15)

That Scripture has great relevance to Christians, and so does the anthem. The anthem reminds me of something else, though. As I continue to age, life itself requires me to keep pressing on.

I feel so blessed that God has given me musical and creative writing skills, and I’m always thankful when I get to use those talents to bless other people. And I admit I’m apt to get frustrated when I don’t have a chance to do that. I don’t believe God gave me those abilities just to amuse myself and my wife.

I’ve heard of too many older people who, upon retiring, basically quit living. They quit living useful and productive lives, anyhow, and that’s the last thing in the world I want to do. I can’t imagine what sitting around all day and doing nothing would be like.

Boring? For sure.

But also how sad. When life no longer has a purpose, what’s the use in living?

I’ve been working hard on my twelfth novel the past six or eight months. I thought I was finished except for some minor revisions, but my agent  pointed out some major problems–major in terms of failing to grab the reader’s attention and make her want to keep reading.

Out of curiosity I asked a good friend who is a much more experienced writer than I am what she thought. She not only agreed with my agent–I’d expected that–she pointed out a problem my agent hadn’t mentioned.

So much for thinking my manuscript was almost complete and ready for my agent to pitch to a publisher.

I believe the purpose of life is to bring God pleasure. Not just in doing my best to live the way He wants me to, but by using the talents He’s blessed me with to the best of my ability. And that means continuing to sharpen my skills.  And not to be satisfied with less than I’m capable of doing on the current project, be it a novel or a new song.

It would have been far easier to ditch that twelfth novel manuscript and start something new than to make the necessary changes. But God didn’t create me to be a quitter. He wants me to press on until I can’t do any better. And thank goodness His Holy Spirit is living inside me, urging and helping me do my best.

That doesn’t mean I’ve finished making those changes yet. But I’m getting there.

It’s no wonder I enjoy life in spite of the fact my body–like everyone else’s–is in the process of deteriorating. My life still has purpose. And it will continue to do so as long as I keep pressing on.

What about you? Are you “pressing on” to reach a difficult goal because you believe it’s the right thing to do? How about leaving a comment?

NOTE: Various people have complained about not being able to find or leave comments. Go all the way to the bottom of this post, beneath my “Best regards, Roger.” On the very bottom line of that last section just above the previous post you’ll see “Leave a Comment” if yours will be the first or “X Comments,” where  X denotes the number of existing comments.

~*~

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Best regards,
Roger

 

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4 thoughts on “Pressing On

  1. Pressing on. Purpose. Life. What a nice essay.

    I tell you, if you stop having a reason to be motivated, if you just sit around waiting for the ‘’day’’, you’re already dead.

    In your case you are motivated because you have set goals in your life, you have self-esteem, a lively intellectual and spiritual life. Without these things you would be as good as inert.

    Me, I have no plans to retire. I have a goal of opening a new restaurant in another city. We are preparing to close on our house today and if the deal goes through we are off. We also have an offer to sell this restaurant. It looks as though the couple who wants it will be taking over in August. Let’s hope so.

    I will take a break for a bit to write. I have an incredible offer to write a book. I just need the time and discipline to do it. I have a niece who is BFF with the person in charge of Apple Books. She decides what goes to the top. She was an editor for Random House and is now a bigwig with Apple. She said if a book was produced it would be put at the top of Apple Books and could easily sell thousands of copies a day. I don’t know about that but I need to try it out.

    Into the distance there is the idea of happiness. More than money, fame, fun, happiness is what is important to me. I want to see my son grow and have an enjoyable life. To pass the years with my wife. Spend more time with family members who live distant, as well as with friends. Not much else makes my breaks screech.

    Hope to see you do well too.

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  2. A very good response. I vaguely recall your moving a few years ago–couldn’t tell you how many–to start the business you have now. Sounds like starting, growing, and selling businesses is a bit part of what brings you happiness. I thoroughly agree about the importance of making our families a huge part of our plans. And who knows? The next time you visit the States, maybe we can do a better job of getting together than last time.

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  3. I’ve moved quite a bit. I’ve traveled by going to a place and building a business and then selling it and moving on. In the States this happened more than 8 times. Here in Colombia it has happened 3 times.
    As for my last visit to the US, I had only a few days and it was strictly business. I needed to get the new house contract signed as well as papers for income tax, insurance, drivers license. It was non-stop and I really didn’t get to see anybody except my brother.
    I fully plan to have a chance to get to see you again the next visit. As it is, we closed on the house and will get paid on Monday. Then I need to wait for the buyers of my business who claim they will begin training on August 8. Afterwards, I will begin to scope out the new city and a place to open the new restaurant. At that time I will know what I need to buy in the States to equip the restaurant. Finally, I hope it can be that I get up to Maryland to see you and meet your wife.

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  4. Tom, you never have a chance to get bored, do you? You have the kind of business mind I’ve never attempted (or needed) to cultivate, and I’m proud of what you’ve accomplished–as I’m sure you are.

    I forgot to say anything about what you said in an earlier comment about writing and getting published, but that would be wonderful. As long as you can discipline yourself to do it. *G*

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