I have been a goal setter all of my adult life. I believe in setting goals. I believe in keeping a focus on the end result. In church life we often focus in on numbers. Numbers in relationship to attendance and/or offerings.
Yet, as I grow older (I sound like an old grandpa now)I have begun to realize that paying attention to the process is just as important as keeping my eye on the destination.
Reminding myself of why I am for and my purpose is important. Goal-setting has its place.
But here's what I am learning....ultimately I can't control the end result.
Goals tend to move here and there and have a way of being missed.
I can't control the end result, but I can control the process. I can control the steps I take to reach my goals.
It’s this way in all aspects of life. A salesman can’t control his income, but he can control how many calls he makes, and how well he knows his presentation.
An athlete can’t control the final score, but he can control how he gets ready for the game and how hard he plays.
Parents can’t control the decisions their grown children make, but they can control the amount of time, love, patience and forgiveness they pour into their children’s lives.
And we can’t control the results of our ministry. But we can control what we put into it—the amount of time, the type of effort, the quality of work. This needs to be our focus, not a number or an amount or an accolade.
Theologian Henri Nouwen once said (and this is just a great statement), "We cannot make it rain, but we can see to it that the rain falls on prepared soil."
Our job is to get the soil ready for the rain of God’s blessings. The rest is up to him.
Paul said to Timothy, "If you keep yourself pure, you will be a utensil God can use for his purpose. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work." (2 Timothy 2:21)
As the song says, "May all who come behind us find us faithful."
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