Progress is one of the foundational principles of “the American dream.” Historians trace this idea back to the Puritans who viewed their passage to North America as an act of divine providence. They saw themselves as a people chosen by God to be “a city on a hill” to give direction for progress to the whole world. The idea of progress continued to build in the minds of the American people as they moved westward in fulfillment of what was called “Manifest Destiny.” Then progress plugged itself into Social Darwinism which proclaimed that things were getting better and better for each generation who survived the challenges of settling this land.
Today progress continues to live on. Americans are “on the move.” When problems arise, freedom means we can move to a new city, a new jobor what we consider “greener pastures.” Our language reflects this when people say, “I used to believe such-and-such, but now I’ve moved beyond that.” One wonders if all of this movement is really progress. Sometimes it looks more like we are spinning our wheels.
From the Scripture today we see that there should be progress in the Christian life. Just like the world around us, however, it can be easy to confuse movement with progress. Therefore, it is important always to keep our eyes on our goal Jesus Christ.
Lord, help move us forward in our faith as we keep our eyes focused on Jesus. In His Name. Amen.