A Goal to Carry On
By Daphne Delay
Where are you going? An old proverb says, "If you don't change your direction, you will likely end up where you are headed."
When I had a senior in high school, this was a popular topic of discussion in our house. Thankfully, my son knew what he wanted to do. On the other hand, one of his close friends was clueless (as probably are a lot of seniors)! But my heart was compassionate toward this young man’s lack of direction. It’s a lot of pressure to have to decide what you want to do for the rest of your life.
I’ve discovered reaching your goals isn’t always a straight shot. I am living my dreams now, but the path that got me here had many turns along the way. And with each turn, I learned something valuable. For most people however, the problem is that discouragement can set in along the way. Job said,
"What strength do I have, that I should hope? And what is my end, that I should prolong my life?"Job 6:11 - The New Living Translation says: "I do not have a goal that encourages me to carry on."
Sadly, this accurately depicts the weariness many people experience when their future is unclear.
When I first asked my son what he thought he wanted to do after graduation, he answered, "I don't know." (Typical teenager.) So I re-worded the question and asked, "If you had no obstacles, what would your dream job be?" He could answer that.
Sometimes we need to re-evaluate how we're looking at something in order to see it clearly. For example, the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are similar, yet the accounts are different because of perspective. Whereas John recounted an event one way, Luke saw it slightly different. Was it different? No. The angle at which it was portrayed gave it a difference. Understanding this can help us in life decisions. If we are uncertain about where we are headed or what we want to do, then maybe we need to look at it from a different perspective.
Dr. Mike Murdock has a series of books on the topic of Assignment. In them, he asks questions like, "What makes you mad?" or "What makes you cry?" He states that the answer to questions like these are indicators of your assignment. For example, suppose two people are watching TV and a commercial comes on asking for help to feed the hungry in Ethiopia. Both agree there's a need, yet one of them is almost brought to tears at the images of malnourished children. This mark of compassion is an indicator of their assignment. A lack of tears by the other person doesn't mean they are heartless, it just means that their assignment is different.
God told Habakkuk,
"Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry."Habakkuk 2:2-3
When God asked Habakkuk to write the vision, He wasn't asking for a long story—just a clear, concise statement of the goal. Many times, goals are lost along the way because they weren’t written down when the dream was fresh and exciting. Therefore later, somewhere after a few turns, the dream is abandoned and all they can say is, "I don’t have a goal that encourages me to carry on."
This isn’t God’s will. He has a plan and purpose for every person, and with eagerness He desires for us to not only discover His plans but also fulfill them.
But know this: success is not found in the destination, but in the journey. And for this reason, as one journey seems to end, God has already prepared another for you. This new journey is connected to another dream, and the finish line you just crossed now becomes a new starting line! God’s will is "...revealed from faith to faith" (see Romans 1:17). Life is a journey, and for Christians, life requires faith.
So find it. Write it down. Expect it. Live it. - Then repeat.
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Daphne Delay is the founder of Mirror Ministries in Seminole, Texas. She is the author of Facing the Mirror: Finding a Self to Live With. Daphne has written over 200 articles for subscribers to Mirror Ministries and other publications, and she blogs nuggets of spiritual growth encouragement every week. Daphne is the wife of a senior pastor and the mother of three. www.mirrorministries.org
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