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Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on to the goal…. Philippians 3:13b–14a NRSV

 Retreat to your quiet place and prepare your heart and mind to allow Scripture to speak to you as you continue on your journey to joy today.

Start with Scripture. Today, read Philippians 3:12–14 from your favorite translation of the Bible or from the epigraph printed at the top of the chapter, page 125. Different translations word verse 12 very differently. Does yours use the word perfect?

What does the key verse say to you today? Do you want to forget? Do you want to move forward? Do you have a goal in life—perhaps one of the priorities you identified yesterday?

Read Chapter 18 of Reclaiming Joy. Pay particular attention to Ella’s struggle with perfectionism, pages 125, 126. Have you struggled with perfectionism, with impossibly high expectations for yourself?

If you accept Ella’s pastor’s explanation of the Greek, the goal is to mature into the person God created us to be. Does that help you understand Paul’s goal? Why does maturity matter?

 Read about the relationship between wisdom and maturity on page 126. Ella titled this third part of the journey from grief “Maturity Leads to Wisdom.” Do you agree or would you say that wisdom leads to maturity? Can you have one without the other?

Ella describes her search for role models on pages 127 and 128. What images does the word widow conjure up for you? Think of widows you’ve known—both those you admire and those you don’t want to be like? What is the key difference between the two groups?

Ella asked herself two questions: How will my children and grandchildren remember me? Who has lived the longest in my family? Ask yourself those questions.

From page 128 to the end of the chapter, Ella discusses the changes she made, many of which required her to move far out of her comfort zone? Does this appeal to you at all?

What can you do now to move toward joy? Do you need to move out of your comfort zone?

What three things are you thankful for today? What moments of joy have you experienced in the last 24 hours? Take time to say, Thank you, God, for…

For an introduction to these 28 meditations leading to Easter, please read The Journey to Easter Joy: Daily Meditations, Letting Scripture Speak.

© Ella Wall Prichard, 2019