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Goals: The goals I have set for myself in life.
Posted by Douglas, Jul 6, 2008. 3523 views. ID = 1462


Posted by Douglas, Jul 6, 2008. 3523 views. ID = 1462
This post was written in 34 minutes.
At first I wanted to write this as a sonnet, but I quickly realized that there was FAR too much I wanted to say to fit in that format!
This post has been awarded 37 stars by 8 readers.

Many years ago, when I was a teen (oh, so many years ago, now!) I discovered that I was far better than any of my classmates in science and mathematics. I say this, not as a way of bragging, but as a simple statement of fact. I used to drive my physics teacher crazy, because I would wait until the last day before the test to do the homework problems, or do any studying. But I wasn't worried; I knew that I understood the material as well as anyone.

My goal, back then, was to know everything I could about the field of mathematics, and to be the very best in all the math competitions. I would spend hours every day researching interesting math questions, trying to solve challenging problems, and - when I could no longer find problems that were challenging enough - inventing my own problems and solving them.

I was successful in my goal; I received many trophies, medals, and awards in state, New England, and national math competitions.

I was satisfied.

But then, several years later, I realized what a silly and pointless goal that was. By then, I was traveling from church to church on weekends, preaching the Bible to any who would listen. I made it my goal then to be the very best teacher and preacher I could be.

I studied, I prepared, I even practiced my messages in front of a mirror, to make sure I didn't stumble over my words. When I went to churches and to camps, people would tell me that my messages were powerful, my presentations were clear, and that I should be a pastor somewhere. And the children would tell me that I was funny, too.

I was satisfied.

But somewhere along the line, something changed. I realized - once again - what a silly and pointless goal I had set for myself. Why does it matter so much whether I'm an excellent preacher? Preaching is something I do for one hour per week. That works out to (using my mad math skills) about 0.59% of my week.

I, who stood in pulpits and told people they should give Jesus 100% - what was I giving Him? A paltry half of a percent?

Where was the gentleness, the meekness, the mourning, the purity of heart, the self-control and self-denial? Where was the secret giving and the hidden prayer? Where was the powerful bond of the brethren, and the astonishing love for my worst enemies? Where was the trust for each day's daily bread, the unfailing integrity, the thirst for righteousness and the daily taking-of-my-cross in the little things of life? Where was the light of my good deeds, and the glory of the Golden Rule in my life?

I have a new goal now. It is not to be the best mathematician. It is not to be the best preacher. It is, in every aspect of my life, from waking to sleeping, to become the image, the reflection, of Jesus Christ. I want to know Him - both the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His suffering. I want to become like Him in every area of my life.

And I have two more goals: To never again change my goals, and to never again be satisfied.

Copyright 2008 Douglas. All rights reserved. has been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work. For permission to reprint this item, please contact the author.

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This post has been awarded 37 stars by 8 readers.
This post is part of a writing prompt: Alphabet Soup - G
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