One year I was blessed to sit under the discipleship of a past pastor's wife, and I soaked up her wisdom & encouragement on making life goals. Up until that point I'd been sitting down January 1, coming up with a few resolutions that sounded good for the new year, and hoping I'd follow through with one or two. But she reminded me that being intentional with our years and giving direction to our hours is a beautiful and helpful tool in becoming more like Jesus. Otherwise, we're like chaff blowing in the wind. Our world is too loud and too busy to enter into without a focus. As Luke 19:10 says, "for the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost." Even Jesus came with a goal in mind! And as we learn to imitate Him, we learn to live our lives with a goal in mind, too.
Creating goals for our life doesn't mean we close off room for the Holy Spirit to guide us; it means we look at God's words and put his directions into points we can follow. It means we read things like "charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised" from that ever elusive Proverbs 31 woman and we think through what it means to fear the Lord and how we can go about doing that more fully. It gives guidance to our decisions and clarity to our thoughts as we choose what to prioritize. As Annie Dillard says, "how we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives" and it is to that end that we give ourselves life goals.
When you look back at your life, what do you want to have accomplished? How do you want to use the gifts God has given you? And how are you going to get there? I use the following verses to remind myself of why I make goals. We're called to discipline ourselves, keep our eyes forward, make the best use of time. To commit our ways to the Lord, number our days, press on towards the goal.
If you haven't ever created big goals for your life, I challenge you to begin praying that the Lord would give you direction to do so. Ask Him to bring to mind verses that can guide your days and decisions. Consider where your greatest joys, passions, and giftings overlap with God's clear Biblical instruction & make it your objection to land there.
Soon, I'll share some of my life's goals with you (update: they're here). It is from them that I make smaller, more direct goals (things like: which books to read, who to spend my time with, where to spend my money, how to run this business, etc). But it starts with the big goals; it starts with prayer to and praise for a God who directs every one of our steps. It starts with setting aside time to live more intentionally every day. It starts right here.