I Press Toward the Mark
(Swinging From Vine to Vine)
Do you remember the famous story of Tarzan of the jungle? What a fearless character he was. He seemed to have a sixth sense when he was in his element of the jungle. He called the animals and they listened. He lived with danger all around him and still kept himself out of harms way. He moved through the trees with the greatest of ease; grabbing one vine and then the next, creating the image of flying through the jungle. What fun and excitement his flying created for those who watched him on the big screen. His eyes looked for the next vine to catch in his right hand, as he let go of the previous one in his left. Right-then-left, as he flew through this jungle of danger with no fear. It was very noticeable how important it was for him to grab the next vine; and it was equally as noticeable how important it was for him to let go of the last vine, so that he could move gracefully through this difficult environment.
So was the life of Tarzan of the jungle. I just can’t escape the analogy of Tarzan swinging through the jungle, as compared to our day-to-day lives. Have you ever been stuck holding a vine; afraid to let go for fear of missing the next one? Maybe you find yourself in this place right now. You know, your life isn’t going anywhere; but instead, is looking at the same scenery each and every day. What keeps you from moving forward? What has stopped your forward motion in life? Could it be that you have not let go of the previous vine, so that you can grab onto the next one? Are you hanging on to an old vine that is not producing any fruit in your life; refusing to move forward and grab the opportunity that is right in front of you? Could fear be the enemy of the next opportunity?
As a farmer, I am interested in things that grow and progress in life. It is so beautiful to watch the transformation that a progressive life can bring, as it moves forward through this dangerous jungle of life. Life is very unpredictable, and at times, is not very user friendly. It seems to knock you down without picking you up with encouragement and acceptance. How are you to make it? How are you to succeed and progress in this life full of spiritual alligators? How can you possibly move forward? Let me make the following suggestion: “LET GO!” Oh, I can hear you now: “I can’t; for if I do I will surely fall to the ground.” Falling in life comes only from hanging on to the vine of the past. If you hang on like this, then your present is actually your past. You have the feeling of “just trying to hang on”, instead of moving forward and feeling the wind of life in your face.
Flying through the jungle, as well as flying through life, comes from letting go of the vine of the past and grabbing hold of the next one with all of your might. You are to hang on; but only long enough to wait for the next one to appear. There are times when you try to fly backward, as you grab hold of the old vines of the past. You think you are noble in the remembrance of these past vines; and you think they will take you forward into your destiny. You don’t understand, though, that they have already served their purpose in moving you to where you are now. They have brought you to where you are, but they won’t take you to where you are going.
Let’s take hold of the wisdom given by the Apostle Paul: “but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.” Here is the answer. Can you see it? This scripture says you must “reach forth”. The next vine of life will appear as you reach forth. Just try it. Try it by faith. Not faith in yourself, but faith that God will give you eyes to see the next vine of life on which to grab hold. Press into this truth, for it will lead you to the true prize of life. Your life is just waiting for you to press this spiritual button: “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” You must leave before you can go; so “LET GO” and watch the hand of the Lord take you through this “jungle” journey of life.