I may have jumped the gun on my 13 tangible goals for 2013. I did preface the post that it was initially a joke and it now seems like it’s a list I can actually accomplish. Despite the first week of this year starting very strong for me, I felt a lot of anxiety and doubt at the end of 2013’s second week. I kept thinking about this list and my approach didn’t seem right. I felt very confident about this list. I was quickly reminded of James:
Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.” How do you know your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” Otherwise you are boasting about your own plans, and all such boasting is evil. Remember, it is a sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.1
I should have also prefaced the goal list that it is something I will do if it is God’s will for me to do it. I thought about that for a bit. And it sort of blew my mind. This list, of course, is more or less aligned with my own desires. I believe, for the most part, those desires are more aligned with God than the desires of the world. Sure, some things on that list I could definitely do without (like the camera and computer), and some could argue some of those things that I want is also part of the desires of this world. So are those desires, those goals, are they from God? Or are they from the world?
Here’s the part that really blew my mind. If the goals are from God—that it is His will and it will be done. As far as when it will be done? I guess that’s all up to Him and my willingness to obey. But when God wills it, it will happen. So what I need to do is assess which goals are really desires from Him or desires of the world. I don’t want to bother with the world’s desires. Achieving those desires usually requires more work than they are worth and it comes with a lot of stress, anxiety, disappointment, and—most of all—unfulfillment.2 God’s desires, His will for us, is something completely out of love and the journey to award us is in itself can be a mind blowing experience.
- James 4:13-17 NLT [↩]
- Oh sure, getting that new car, that new computer, that new camera, that new toy can be fun and exciting, but that new shiny thing will never completely fulfill what I truly desire—something I’m still not sure what, but I know God knows and I want to follow Him just so I can find out [↩]