One of my favorite coffee mugs was broken this week. Not sure how it happened. Just found it sitting there on the counter with the handle broken off. A friend had given it to me because it has one of my favorite Bible verses on it. "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God" (Philippians 3:14).

As I stood there looking with disappointment at my handle-less cup I realized that now the mug actually illustrates the verse. Before, it was a very nice coffee cup with a really meaningful verse on it. Now, it may represent what Paul had in mind when he penned the words.

"Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, 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, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:12-14 NIV).

Coffee mugs are made with a purpose. Mugs are made for drinking coffee, for drinking hot chocolate, for holding pens, for collecting change. They are not made to simply sit on a shelf and gather dust. When you use a mug there is the possibility that it will get damaged or broken.

Like the coffee mug we were created with a purpose. We were created for life. We were not created to sit and watch life go by. We were created to embrace life. Jesus said it this way, "I have come that you may have life and have it abundantly" (John 10:10). Paul said we were created to do "good works" (Ephesians 2:10). The abundant life does not happen without risks. Doing good works is not without dangers.

Life is for living. When you live life, there are risks. When you live you may get hurt. When you live you may experience disappointments. When you live you may get damaged. When you live you may get broken.

When that happened to Paul, he chose to press on. He did not allow his life to end with a broken handle. He kept pushing forward. He continued to move forward toward the prize God had called him to.

Take a lesson from my mug.
My mug with no handle will most likely be reassigned to be a penholder or a change cup. It has served me well. Many good cups of coffee have been consumed from that mug. But it is time for this mug to move on to a new goal, a new purpose for being.

What about you? Has life been unkind to you lately? Have you considered retiring, sitting out the fight, being shelved? Please don’t.

Take a lesson from my mug. Even if your handle gets broken ... press on. Move forward. Your handle is broken, but you are not dead. Keep living. God has something in store for you.