As a Christ follower, we often try so hard to to the right things. Be like Christ, follow His example. Paul often compares the life of the Christ follower to a race. Keep your eye on the goal, run to win, finish strong. We want to do the right thing, but we often fail.
I've seen people who seem to think they've "arrived." They act like they have everything together, that they have somehow reached perfection. I've also met people who have a very real view of themselves. Much like Paul, they call themselves the chief of sinners.
Paul is one of my Bible heroes. He was a committed Christ follower, who endured more than most of us will ever come close to facing. He was persecuted, beaten, left for dead, yet he continued on in his faith. In fact, his faith got stronger each step of the way. But Paul was so humble. He was very careful to make sure his reader understood that he had not "arrived." He made every effort to take hold of the goal, but he certainly had not yet reached it.
I am convinced that the more you strive for the goal - the closer you get to Jesus Christ - the more you realize how far you have to go. A comfortable, easy going Christian may think they have reached the goal, or are very close. But a Christ follower who is all in, who has laid everything on the line and is truly striving to be like Christ - no matter what the cost - will realize that he (or she) is farther from the goal than ever.
Have you "arrived?" If you have then you better stop right now and reconsider. We are despicable sinners in God's sight. Only by the grace of God do we even stand a chance. We must forget what is behind and reach forward to what is ahead. Pursue as your goal the prize promised by God's heavenly call in Christ Jesus.
Yesterday we took Garren to an eye specialist. The issue has been his left eye. Because he is not able to close it completely, it tends to stay red and irritated. We have been trying to manage the redness using ointments, antibiotics, and and eye patch to keep it closed as much as possible. The eye doctor highly recommended a tarsorrhaphy, which involves suturing the two eyelids together in order to protect the surface of the eye from drying. It is an outpatient procedure. This is the second eye doctor to recommend this procedure. We were a little reluctant at first, but both doctors are confident that this is what is best for Garren. He said that the stitch could be in for up to 90 days. Without the procedure, blood vessels will begin to grow over his cornea as a way of protecting the eye from dryness. The problem is that this will cause impaired vision.
So we go Thursday afternoon to have the procedure done. He will receive a local anesthetic (just like what you get when you get a filling at the dentist), and the doctor will put one stitch in to hold the eyelids closed.
Pray for Garren as he (obviously) is a little nervous about the procedure. Pray also that the left side of his face will continue to strengthen so he can overcome this eye issue.