I have ministry goals, health goals, financial goals, fishing goals, hunting goals, house goals, car and pick up goals, personal growth goals, marriage goals, kid goals, grandkid goals, bicycle goals, mountain climbing goals, sky diving goals, exercise goals, and travel goals, to mention a few. My goals help me balance my life, they help me budget my time, they help me budget our money, they help me prioritize my life, they motivate me to do more, to work harder, they stimulate me to plan ahead, they are a key to saying ”no” to things outside my goal package, the writing process as I plan my new goals stimulates my creative thinking, the writing, dreaming process also motivates me to do things I have never done before. Reading past years goals that I have accomplished gives me a great sense of accomplishment, and they are a great tool for helping me discern God’s will for my life.
Very few goals go as planned in my head and on paper, there are almost always a host of barriers that pop up that have to be overcome, conquered, solved, and often major adjustments have to be made. Goal barriers can cause a lot of discouragment to the point that we quit setting goals and having dreams. There isn’t much that is as painful as the ”death of a vision.”
This COVID thing has been a major ”mess up” for a bunch of my goals. I have had to make major adjustments, and changes to a number of my most prized goals, even abandoning a few. But that is life, you figure it out, make mid-flight adjustments, and put the gas peddle back down on the floor.
When the first two of our eight kids we’re still little Patty and I went to a ”Child Raising Seminar”. In the seminar one of the speakers taught this principle, ”The best parenting tool available for parents who want to raise champions who love to win is camping, because when you go camping, everything that can go wrong does, and then you can teach your kids how to overcome problems, barriers, and emergencies. You can not only teach them how to conquer the barriers, make adjustments, sometimes even changing their goals because of them, you can also teach them to enjoy the process and the challenge. Kids that grow up knowing how to overcome the unexpected and not get uptight and frustrated in the process are very rare, and do very well in every area of life.”
All eight of our kids are ”overcomers” in attitude and character. They deal with life, solve problems, make adjustments, maintain their joy and positive attitude, and grow closer to God in the process.
One example is Sherri. She graduated from Multnomah Bible College and went to Liberia, West Africa as a missionary. While there she met Thomas, a Liberian, fell in love, and got married, doubly married, they got married in Jefferson and again in Africa. Their goal was to be life long missionaries to Liberia, a very noble goal, but while they were in the States so Thomas could get his U.S. Citizenship, he had a farming accident and broke his neck, paralyzing him, and putting him in a wheelchair. Liberia is not a handicap friendly country, and it would be very difficult for a wheelchair bound person to function. So they have made some major adjustments and refocusing of their dreams and ambitions for their lives. It has been a joy for me to watch as they deal with the unexpected, make adjustments, and maintain their joy and trust in the Lord. They have their down times, but they are like a volley ball being held under the water, it isn’t long before they pop back-up.
A major principle of life is, ”The more difficulties that God can bring into our life without us derailing, the more usable we become for Him.”
One last benefit of goal setting, ”those who set noble goals and pursue them, dealing with the barriers as they come up, become very tough people, sort of like camping.