In a moment of characteristic, impulsive passion, I said to my husband, “Goals are stupid!”
He had spent a few days at a staff retreat, which included a look back at the goals he had made for the year and evaluation of how he had done. Of course, this causes a person to see everything he has not accomplished that he wrote down on paper he would accomplish.
And then here I am with all of these things I was going to be doing about now, and instead I’ve started a new job I never wrote on my “Goals for 2013” list. What about all of those plans I had pinned to my lovely bulletin boards downstairs? The second book I was going to write (even though I had never published a first)? Speaking engagements for which I prepared but they never happened? Bible studies I was going to produce and did not?
Unpin, unpin, unpin. Hear the sounds of straight pins dropping back into the plastic cup where I store them.
Yet I think –why I am so satisfied, even though so many of these goals may never be completed?
The Spirit steps into my line of thinking and says, It’s because you are achieving goals.
Not the goals gathering dust on my bulletin boards but the deep-down goals that have been growing inside me since I was young: To share Jesus. To teach the truth of the Bible.
Paul describes himself as “poor, yet making many rich.” (2 Corinthians 6:10 NIV) I should have written that down on the magnetic to-do list that hangs on my fridge:
Make people rich today.
That’s what I have always wanted to do, and God had given me many opportunities to do just that -they just didn’t look like what I had planned.
If God, in his sovereignty, can re-route our futures, should we even set goals? Should we make a to-do list for the day, for the year? I say yes -we should be people who live on purpose. But our practical goals should be only a watermark on the page. Let the Spirit of God pen-write his plans over the top of ours.
Do you have bulletin boards in your mind -where you have pinned what your future is going to look like? What if you were to pull all of those straight pins out and drop them into a red plastic cup like I did? Slip the note cards full of plans into an envelope and tuck them away, until the one day when maybe God tells you to pull them out again. Then wake up in the morning and pray, Lord, how can I make someone’s life richer today, with the hope and love of your good news?