Keep Moving Forward

A few years ago, I watched “Meet the Robinsons,” an animated Disney movie about becoming who you are meant to be and making the most of who you are. I enjoyed the movie for its entertainment value, but one of the things that stuck out to me the most was the ever-present message that it is totally acceptable and expected to fail, but that true failure only comes when you fail to Keep Moving Forward.

Keep Moving Forward, if you stop and think about it, that is a powerful concept, but it is not one that came into existence just to help drive an interesting storyline in the movie. In fact, we could look at the life story of Walt Disney himself and see that it is a mantra by which he lived. Or, we could look at others throughout history, like Colonel Sanders, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, George Mueller, and the Apostle Paul to see what happens when ordinary people refuse to accept failure and determine to keep moving forward.

In Philippians 4, Paul talks about his journey. He had done all the right things throughout his life and had a lot to brag about. But one day, he found out that he was doing the wrong things for what he thought was the right reason. His Damascus road experience and conversion stand as one of the greatest examples of moving beyond our mistakes. He admonishes us in verses thirteen and fourteen that his focus is not on the past, with its successes and failures in the eyes of man and God, but that he is focused on reaching the goal, or the end of the race, and receiving the reward that God has for him.

You see, Paul knew that he had to keep moving forward, but even Paul didn’t come up with this powerful idea. Proverbs 24:16 tells us that “The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again.” From this verse, it could be argued that “keep moving forward” is a godly and biblical concept.

As a runner, I find myself repeating this phrase often on more challenging runs. It gives me some mental motivation to keep putting one foot in front of the other and I know that if I do that enough times, I’ll reach the top of the mountain or the end of the trail. I don’t have to tell myself to keep moving forward when things are easy, but it is when things get tough that my mental mantra is the most powerful. I also follow this concept in my day to day life and encourage my students to keep moving forward at the end of many of my lessons.

For you see, to keep moving forward doesn’t mean to focus totally on the goal, but it requires us to focus on the next few steps that must be taken to reach that goal and then it demands that we take those steps. If we don’t, we quit and we will never reach the goal.

So, in life, in love, in your relationship with God, I admonish you, as Paul did, to Keep Moving Forward.