Recently I was sitting in one of my coworker’s classrooms and I caught a glimpse of a poster hanging on the wall. It read, “If you’re not aiming at anything in life, you’re guaranteed to go nowhere.” The poster encouraged kids to set goals for their life and pursue them in order to have a sense of direction. I think most people can relate to a feeling of floundering and waywardness at certain junctures in their journey through life.
For me, goal setting was really emphasized growing up. With that said, I can’t say that I was encouraged to set all the right goals. Most of mine had to do with career, athletics, and school. Those are all good things but something extremely important, downright vital, is missing from the list. Spiritual goals were never an important aspect of my life until about 10 years ago. Because of that, I floundered. You better believe my schooling, athletics, and career pathways were darn near precise. I stayed on track and achieved a lot of what I set out to do. But it was empty because of my lack of direction in the spiritual sense.
I think goals are great. Everyone needs to have them no matter who you are. I will raise my children with that. But I will go further, for their sake. Their spiritual goal is first, foremost, and above all others. It will not be the leftovers from whatever energy they have remaining. It will not be something they put on hold until they graduate, start a family, or “arrive” at the career they want. That’s how I operated, and I want more than anything, to save my kids from that troublesome pathway through life.
Several places in the Bible we are given spiritual goals to pursue. That saves us from the hardest part…figure out where we want to go. The most essential part of any journey is knowing the destination. Without one, everything in between is a lump sum of haphazard choices and consequences. God never intended anyone to go through life that way. So He gave us a destination (knowing Him), a guidance system (His Holy Spirit), and a straight and narrow road (Jesus) to get there. Here’s a great starter list of five common goals for anyone needing a jumping off point for setting their spiritual goals:
#1- Declare the Praises of God
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
1 Peter 2:9
#2-Serve Jesus and live like He did
For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.
#3-Respect God and live the way He’s called us to
Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.
#4-Be a light (different from those in the world) to help people know God
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
#5-Love God and love others well
Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’This is the first and great commandment.And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
Please don’t make the same mistake that I did. Set the goals that matter first and allow them to shape the rest. There are a lot of great things to aim at in this life, but they are all secondary to the centerpiece of life.
I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.