Sunday, January 18, 2015

Press On to the Goal

Just a few weeks ago many of us set goals for the New Year. Some of us set financial goals to get a handle on our spending and maybe even get out of debt. Others made physical goals to lose some weight and improve their health. And I’m sure there were some, like myself, who set personal achievement goals for the year, as well.

Every January I prayerfully contemplate my writing goals for the new year. For book proposals, I first prayerfully create a one sheet synopsis of the theme of the book God is laying on my heart, followed by a rough outline, and culminating with an in-depth proposal, all in hopes of landing a book contract.

Some people set extraordinary goals and accomplish them. This week, like many in the United States, I witnessed two amazing achievements:  The first was the Ohio State Buckeyes winning the national college football championship. They were never expected to be number one. The OSU football team was considered the underdogs all through the season, right up until the very end; yet, they miraculously ended up being the champs.

The other extraordinary achievement was done at Yosemite’s El Capitan. It played host to two very dedicated men for 17 days, as they bloodied their fingertips and inched their way up the massive rock, scaling all 3,000 feet of it to the very top. Several years of painstaking preparation culminated in this amazing triumph.

But during the arduous months (and years) of those dedicated football players and rock climbers practicing and planning their strategies, there were no cheerleaders along the way picking them up. Time after time they were exhausted and longed to quit. No one took over their daily hours of practices for them – they, alone, had to stick with it and force themselves to persevere when they desperately wanted time off. Those “behind the scenes” moments full of physical pain and setbacks, where they pushed themselves beyond what they thought they were capable of, was what eventually enabled them to be successful and reach their goal.

After witnessing both those amazing sets of achievements in one week, I was even more motivated to stick to my own personal goals. Their dedication reminded me that working toward a goal and finally achieving it not only blesses us, but blesses and encourages those around us to strive to reach their goals, too. And sometimes we forget there is a bigger picture involved. We forget that our actions can prompt others to step up to the plate. (The opposite is true, as well. Our lack of commitment can lead others astray.) It is important to remember that our perseverance, and taking the necessary steps toward our dream, is what it takes to win the trophy.

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:14)
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