The motivational speakers of our day want us to set great goals for our life: “Where do you want to be in two, five, or ten years? What type of lifestyle do you want when you retire?” We are encouraged to set goals slightly beyond our reach, and then instructed how to create a plan to accomplish these goals. The implication is that a more focused effort will yield superior results and lead to greater “success.”
But before we can ask where we want to be in the next few years, we must first ask a longer term question: “Where will I be in one hundred years?” No other goal is worth pursuing until we have a solid answer to this most basic (but all-important) question. What difference does it make which college we attend, which job we take, or what our home looks like if we have failed to address the issue of where we will spend eternity!?
“The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception.”
We must be wise with the days we are given and no longer be deceived by the values of the world’s system. There’s nothing inherently wrong with goals and plans; but far too often, they lead to a self-determined lifestyle and away from the true Director of ALL plans; “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps” (Proverbs 16:9). Our planning must be as a direct response to God’s leading; and once in place, our plans must remain in complete submission to His will; “I know, O Lord, that a man’s life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps” (Jeremiah 10:23). When our goal is to be in the center of His will, the specifics of where we will be and what we will be doing are really none of our business. This last sentence is worth reading again!!
Every moment of our life is a precious gift from God. Even though the average life span continues to increase, our time is extremely short. An average life lasts about 45,000,000 minutes (much less in many countries). This may seem like a lot, but by this time tomorrow 1440 minutes will be forever gone; “You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes” (James 4:14).
We must not waste our limited time by chasing after things which vanish; “Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity” (Ephesians 5:15-16). We must evaluate ALL our decisions and goals based on the overriding desire to glorify God in all we do, to rejoice in His many blessings, and to long for the time when we can worship before His throne for all eternity. Any other set of values must fade to nothing in comparison.
Every day we are handed a block of time and given the freedom of how it will be spent. This is a wonderful opportunity, but the clock continues to tick! Let’s honor our Heavenly Father with our goals and plans and give careful thought to our ways.