With football season in full swing, I am reminded of a “tip” I received from my old football coaches. Let me rephrase that. It wasn’t a tip; it was a command that was said with the authority of somebody who let me know, in no uncertain terms, that there was a place on the bench for me if I failed to do what he said.
It still rings in my ears — Keep your feet moving!
My coaches knew the importance of that. They also knew the importance of constantly reminding me (and others) of that.
You see, it is almost automatic to stop moving your feet when you hit somebody head on. You’ve just run into somebody as big and strong (or bigger and stronger) than you, and your first thought is to stop, regain your composure, and get set to exert more energy in order to reach the goal you’re trying to reach.
As soon as you do that, you’ve lost any momentum you’ve had up to that point. Your upper body and/or arm strength is not nearly as effective if your feet are not moving. Who knows what might happen if you keep your feet moving. If you’re a defensive player trying to tackle the ball carrier, you might just get by the player who is trying to keep you from doing that. If you’re the one carrying the ball, a hole might just open up that will allow you to make a huge gain or even score a touchdown. The likelihood of those things (or any other good thing) happening is diminished greatly if a player stops moving his feet.
In Philippians 3:14, Paul reminds us of the importance of keeping our feet moving. The way he put it was: “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (ESV).
Did Paul have his setbacks? Were there those who wanted to keep him from advancing the cause of Christ? Was he sometimes “stopped dead in his tracks?” The answer to all of those questions is an obvious “Yes.” At the same time, Paul kept his feet moving. He never gave up, never gave out, and never gave in. He kept trying to make progress, even when it seemed impossible for him to do so.
Because he kept his feet moving, Paul was able to write toward the end of his life, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Tim. 4:7, ESV). If we’ll keep our feet moving, we can look back on our lives in the same way.
Photo background credit: U.S. Military Academy on Creative Commons