Did you ever have one of those conversations that feel like someone just threw a glass of cold water in your face? Wisdom can come from the most unlikely of sources, yet one more reminder that God has an incredible sense of humor. It’s so easy to get caught up in the details of our day to day lives that we can lose track of what we’re actually trying to accomplish. I was recently talking with someone I’d never met before about doing some work together. He simply asked what my ideal job would be. When I told him, he responded with, “and how does doing this job move you toward that goal?” Wow; that unsettled me because I knew that working with him would do absolutely nothing to move me toward my goals in life. It was a simple statement from a stranger, someone younger than I, and with far less experience in this world; I don’t even know if the man is a believer in Christ. I only know that, at least on this night, God used him to speak wisdom into my life.
It’s amazing what we can hear, what we can learn, if only we are open to do so. While it is not the topic of this post, I encourage you to be ever listening for and ever seeking the voice of God. I think you’ll be surprised at some of the ways He chooses to speak. Personally, I love that; I love that God is unpredictable, unashamed and lacks all pretense. He simply loves us and will speak to us in any and every possible way.
But back to the question of my new friend: how is what you are doing today moving you toward your life goals? Perhaps we should back up and make certain you actually have life goals. Do you have a well defined purpose for your life? Are you pursuing things you are passionate about, things that God has uniquely gifted you to do? There is a well documented but rarely followed secret to accomplishing your goals: you must write them down. Write down your life goals on a sheet of paper and put a date next to each one. This is the date you will accomplish that goal. Now work backwards from the date and write down the tasks you will need to complete in order to reach your goal. Read through your goals no less than every week. Read them daily or twice a day. Constantly remind yourself of what you are working towards, and those things you must do to reach each goal.
Armed with a list of your goals, reminding yourself of them regularly, you will be well equipped to determine if the task at hand moves you toward or away from your goals. You will spend your life doing one or the other. I don’t want to live a life that constantly moves me away from my goals. I don’t want to face God when my days are done with the knowledge that I left unfinished the work He gave me to do. Life is but a vapor, just a breath. Our time is short and fleeting. Don’t waste your life moving away from your goals. Embrace your mission and only take on tasks that move you forward. Only God and you can say for sure what your unique mission, your unique goals will be. I do know that followers of Jesus will always have goals that in some way will advance His kingdom, His love and His mission. You are uniquely equipped to accomplish your goals. Make sure your mission aligns with His, that your goals advance that mission, and that you spend each day of your life doing things that will lead to the accomplishment of those goals. For this you were created, and for this you are called to live.