Philippians 3:13-14 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
So here we are at the time that marks both an ending and a beginning.
In Malcolm Gladwell’s excellent book, The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference he writes, “If you want to bring a fundamental change in people's belief and behaviour...you need to create a community around them, where those new beliefs can be practiced and expressed and nurtured.”
I feel this is the essence of Paul’s exaltation to the Church in Phillipi. Gladwell also goes on to say, “Look at the world around you. It may seem like an immovable, implacable place. It is not. With the slightest push—in just the right place—it can be tipped”
Eugene Peterson paraphrases verse 14 as “By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.”
As verse 13 notes, Paul's focus is on forward momentum, not prior mistakes. A person cannot move ahead if their thoughts and vision are focused on the past.
Responding to tipping point moments can evoke a combination of fear, bravado, greed, but also wonder, and worship. The Christian response to such moment of change is to see and fully embrace the widening the potential for compassion, through living sufficiently, and sharing burdens. At this New Years Eve tipping point there can be hope without fear so long as discover that little step and move forward in faith.
When the old year dies,
And the new comes bounding in,
I draw strength from knowing
That in the next twelve months
The snows will go
The buds will burst
The heat will rise
The leaves will fly,
That all these things will happen
According to Your schedule
And in Your time;
That there is order in Your universe,
And that I am part of it. Amen