As a very goal oriented person, this passage resonates with me. Here Paul is calling us as Christians to press on towards the “perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me” makes me think of the great commandment:
to love your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind and to love your neighbor as yourself.
This is what we should be striving for, but this is also one of the most difficult things to do. It can be quite difficult for me to love the person who cuts me off on the interstate, or the person yelling racial epithets on the television, but that is indeed what I am supposed to do. I’m not there yet. I am, in fact, quite far from there. For me, this passage tells me to forget the times I’ve failed at being God’s child: the times I’ve cursed at someone while driving, or the times I’ve turned around in the grocery store because that person I can’t stand is there, and to remember to keep trying, every time again, to be a better example of God’s child. That each year, we may get better and better at loving others. So this year, as we await the coming of the Jesus to live among us, may we remember to make room in our lives for him, so that we may better run this race and become closer examples to whom Christ called us to be.
–Dr. Heather Young Highsmith