While goals are good and should be a part of our lives, often we set goals that are completely unattainable. We 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. We need to do this because the journey is where the changes really happen. 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 by nature a detail person, 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 details that we too often ignore. Everything we say and do can have a ripple effect on everything and everyone around us and will 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 by doing so we give God the opportunity to perform miracles (name it claim it or prosperity gospel). In essence, if we set a huge goal that we could never possibly attain, then it obligates God to act on our behalf. I don’t think this is what the Bible is talking about. I do believe there are things we cannot see and speaking of them as if they are real can bring about changes in us that allow us to see what we could not before…this is the essence of faith. But claiming something does not obligate God 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…the 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. And in those times when we find ourselves overwhelmed or struggling or falling and in need, He will move those mountains and give us sure footing again.
The goal of salvation that God has for the entire human race was not one that happened over a few weeks or months or years…it has taken millenniums and is still unfolding. We cannot see all the ways and means in the big picture, only what little light shines on our path. This is the cost we are to consider – is it worth taking that next step. Believe it or not we are a part of the plan, not just watchers waiting in the wings for our curtain call.