Priorities and goals

Priorities are a common enough topic to be lectured/written/preached on. Certainly most of us could use some help keeping our priorities straight. Recently an opportunity arrived for me that threw into perspective my priorities.

Its a mud race. There are two actually. There is a 3 mile obstacle course/race in Sept. and then a 10 mile in Dec. People I know are planning on each, and it looks like fun. The first thing that comes to mind though is that I will have to train to prepare for them. Sure, I could make it through the 3 mile with little preparation (I think) but the 10 mile? I certainly need to devote time to getting myself in shape.

With the decision to do this race, I have shaped the next 6 months of my life. I have determined that this is a priority and in order to succeed at this race and cross the finish line I will have to prepare and work for it.

We create goals all the time. Sometimes opportunities present themselves and so we have a goal to complete it. Different things appeal to us differently. This race appeals to me and it may not to others. However, it was not long after considering this race that I realized the commitment I was looking at and wondering when I last committed so much to my spiritual growth, or to a spiritual goal.

Do we have spiritual goals? “Bodily exercise profiteth little, but godliness is profitable unto all things.” 1 Tim. 4:8 Yes, there is profit (a little) in exercise and we should take care of ourselves, but what is our goal? Where are my priorities? Do I have a priority of Godliness? Why not?

I start to tell myself that it is a harder thing to determine but it doesn’t have to be. Certainly it would be hard (impossible) to say I want to double my faith in 6 months. But I can easily say that I want to hand out 7 tracts each week, or that by the end of the year I want to read my Bible through twice, or any number of trackable goals that are spiritually minded. Maybe I should memorize the book of Hebrews, or write a 6 songs of praise. We can set goals that our spiritually minded. Why don’t we?

Are they not popular? I had a few different people with excitement in their voices inviting me and compelling me to join them on these races. Where is the excitement and energy about these other things? My friends would not have been dissuaded from the race if I had said “That doesn’t sound like any fun.” They already were going to do it no matter what I did, and so it should be with us as we set for ourselves goals that build us up in the faith. I should be excited about my goals. I should invite others to participate with me. But, if I’m alone, I should go on ahead because I know it will benefit me, and I know it will strengthen my faith and bring me closer to the Lord.

I want to set some goals. I’m not sure what they are yet, but I’m going to set some. I find that when I have a goal I strive to accomplish it. Who knows, many people who run short races end up running longer ones or a marathon. Some don’t. Some don’t like running and pick something else. Maybe you will memorize a short book and end up with the whole NT memorized. Maybe you will find another goal is better for you. Set spiritual goals for yourself. Pick something that is good and commendable and that will grow you. If you don’t know what to pick, ask your pastor. Ask someone close to you what your strengths and weaknesses are. What goal will you pick that will bring you closer to God?

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