Well it’s the last day of the year 2010. And this is the day when traditionally I sit down and write out all my 2011 goals. I set my resolve to accomplish them. I break them all down into small, achievable segments. I post them somewhere visible where I can always keep them in front of me. And I tell someone my goals so that I can be held accountable by another person; who now partners with me in the accomplishment of each and every one of them. Hey, that’s the plan on planning, right? At least that is what I have heard from every mentor on goal setting. But today was different.
I woke up this morning in a sort of a funk. Maybe it was because I had another birthday yesterday and I really felt “older” this time. Maybe it is because other than a relocation at the end of January, I really don’t have any earth shattering goals to write down and stick on the mirror. Make more money…yawn. Lose weight…been there, done that. Spend more time with God…yep…every year that one gets written down. But a scripture kept coming to me in my quiet time this morning that I can seem to shake.
“For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it— lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish’? Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace.” Luke 14:28-32 (New King James Version)
It’s as if God was letting me know that planning is a major part of goal setting. In that passage, Jesus was saying “who doesn’t plan?” And the answer is: a loser! Having a plan goes way beyond having a goal. A goal is the end result. A plan is how to get there. And I got that in my quiet time this morning.
So the real revelation came as I took the dogs for a walk to the lake. And two scriptures that should be very familiar to everyone came to my mind:
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9
“Unless the LORD builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted. Unless the LORD protects a city, guarding it with sentries will do no good.” Psalm 127:1
I guess having a goal is good. And having a plan is even better. But unless I understand my purpose, than all of that stuff just won’t work. So I guess my challenge to every one that reads this is to find out what your purpose is. Because until you do that, you will just have another January 1st exercise in dreaming. And I think I’ll end with another over-preached scripture to ponder:
“If people can't see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves. But when they attend to what he reveals, they are most blessed.” Proverbs 29:18 (The Message)