While goals are good and should be a part of our lives, often we set goals that are completely unattainable. We often set goals based on what we want to look like or who we want to be or what career we’d like to pursue. These are all good and noble ideas but we forget to consider just what it will take to get to that point. The Bible tells us to consider the cost of building a tower, (Luke 14:28-30). This is not saying that we should all go out and start building towers, but that before we begin to do something we should sit down and figure out exactly what it will cost. How long will it take? How much money will it cost? How much time away from my family will it demand? How much stress will be involved? Will I need help and who? Add any other question you like. But, if we could just snap our fingers and be at our destination we would have learned nothing along the way and would slide back into the same rut and fall back to where we were when we set such a lofty goal. I am not a detail person by any stretch of the imagination, but I have learned that details are important and the ‘how’ of a goal is often more important than the goal itself. This life we live is a life of detail where everything we say and do can have a ripple effect on those around us and can either bring us closer to our destination or drive us further away.
I have heard over the years that we should “dream big dreams” and “believe for great things”. I have heard people say that we ought to claim things that are not as though they are and in doing so we give God the opportunity to perform miracles. In essence, if we set a huge goal that we could never possibly attain, then it obligates God to act. I don’t think this is what the Bible is talking about. God is far from obligated to do anything more than He already has on our behalf…He has already done, provided, given, and sacrificed everything for us. I don’t believe that the Good Lord would have us sit back and shout out wants, desires, and demands while He does the heavy lifting…that cross was heavy enough. I believe that God wants us to consider the cost, make a plan, and figure out how to accomplish something – then go out and pursue it. He gave us a brain and expects us to use it. Then, in those times when we find ourselves overwhelmed or struggling or falling and in need, he will move those mountains in our way and give us sure footing again. We are to be active participants in the plan, not watchers in the wings waiting for our curtain call.
I am a realist…a Thomas you might say. I want to touch the scars and understand what it took to save me. The goal of salvation that God had for the entire human race did not transpire over a few weeks or months or years…it has taken millenniums and is still unfolding. And as we go about our lives, as we listen to and follow his lead, we will have the opportunity to be an active part of that plan.