Are you a resolution maker? Did you make any this year?
I’m not huge on “New Years resolutions” per se but I do like to have a goal in front of me on a pretty regular basis. It feels like it just helps give life some shape and purpose (not that there aren’t a myriad of other things that do that as well). There’s just something about learning something new. Or challenging yourself. Or just plain STARTING a thing and actually FINISHING it! Know what I mean?
Then there’s the tracking. Oh, how I love the tracking! I’m tracking this post, in fact. Right now. On my little “Considering Eternity grid.” (Seriously. I’m a little weird like that).
The Bible is interesting in its communication on goals and goal setting (keep in mind we’re not getting into the context of each verse here, but you’ll get the idea…) On the one hand we learn, “Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.” (Proverbs 21:5) and on the other, “The Lord nullifies the counsel of the nations; He frustrates the plans of the peoples.” (Psalm 33:10) And to add yet another level of consideration, “The mind of man plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9)
So, what do we do? Dive in and use every ounce of our human strength to plot and plan and make something happen or wait for God to divinely intervene in our day to day world and tell us which color socks to put on? I vote neither. I subscribe (ok, try to subscribe) to James 4:15, “Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”
I think God is cool with us having goals, dreams and aspirations for our lives. I think He even wants us to live with purpose and to stretch ourselves to live to the capacity that He intended for us. But I think, more than anything, He wants to know that we aren’t so committed to any one plan that He can’t interrupt it with something different. Like with anything in life, He wants our hearts first.
So plan your plans, set your goals, dream your dreams…but don’t forget to add “If the Lord wills…” Because none of us is promised tomorrow and the most lofty goal has already been set for us:
“Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness,…”