The apostle Paul once wrote, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:13-14).
We see here that Paul had a general life goal, but subsumed under that were many more immediate and localised goals.
When I was a schoolboy, we used to have target practice on the school’s rifle-range. It used to cause endless amusement to aim at my neighbour’s target instead of my own, and then watch the fury of the master in charge. Failing to aim at the right target was definitely one of the world’s leading crimes in his book.
Of course such school boy antics are of little consequence, but it is an altogether different thing when we frolic with the target and goals of life. This being the case, it is well now and then to pause and check our goals.
First, personal goals
- Are my attempts to fulfil my present goals giving me a sense of ultimate achievement?
- What do I want most to leave behind? (e.g. a new business enterprise? An educated, integrated and happy family?)
Secondly, relationship/family goals
- If I am single, do I have meaningful friendships and have I surrendered my relationship destiny to God?
- If I am married, is my marriage a growing and developing relationship?
- Do we have goals as a family?
- Do I know my children as friends or strangers?
Thirdly, spiritual goals
- What am I trying to produce?
- Am I producing it?
- Are the methods I am using the most efficient and productive?
- Is what I am doing worth doing?
- Am I letting the successes or failures of yesterday prevent my being ready for the challenges of tomorrow?
Above all, in goal-setting, let’s not forget the most critical exhortation of all. It comes from the lips of Jesus: Seek first the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33).