Life Goals

from Rev. Bruce Wood - August 2015

Published in News First — our monthly church newsletter  

    What is it that makes you get out of bed in the morning and gets you going for the day?  Do you have a goal for each day - do you have goals for your life?

    I’m sure that most of us have goals.  When we are young our goals tend to be fairly idealistic and even a bit naive - something such as becoming wealthy, to buy a big house and a nice car, to have a well paid job and climb the corporate ladder - to be a leader in industry - with a six figure salary, and a social status to match. 

  Maybe it is to learn as much as you can so that you become an authority in a particular field of expertise - or to travel to exotic places and have exhilarating experiences - or to become a star athlete, or a techno wiz.  As we get older - and hopefully wiser - our goals tend to become more modest - such as to retire comfortably, or to find opportunities to give something back to society.  Whatever our goals, they will give us a focal point for our thinking and direct our actions - they will focus our behaviour, and give meaning to our intentions. 

  A regular check on your goals is a worthwhile exercise - one that will allow you to refocus where it is you are headed, and what is needed to get there.  Yet there never seems to be a good time to sit down and think about what you want to accomplish in life.  We have busy lives, and even when we’re not busy, we often just feel more like ‘crashing’ in front of the TV or the computer, instead of thinking about the rest of our lives.

  If we read the letter Paul wrote to the Philippian church, he talks about having many dreams and goals for his life - but that he is willing to toss over all those dreams and goals, to concentrate on only one.  He says that whatever he had in the past as the focus for his life, is now nothing, compared to knowing the man Jesus Christ.

  He says that his original goals are now rubbish compared to knowing this man Jesus, and it didn't matter how well he did any of them, because doing “things” is no longer the primary focus of his life.  The goal of his life is now not to gather things, or to be somebody - his life goal is now a relationship - a relationship with the man Jesus - and that relationship, is now the most important thing in his life.

  Our goals can be about the accumulation of ‘stuff’ - like a big house, and a nice car, and exotic holidays - but none of that ‘stuff’ will bring long-term satisfaction, or integrity, or peace, or truth, or love to our lives.  It may give us a feeling of power and control - but that feeling will be temporary.

  However, having goals for our life, means that we also have to live with questions, and possibilities, and dreams - rather than having the answers, or having arrived at our destination.  Sometimes it’s about asking the difficult questions of life - and struggling with those questions - and not necessarily finding the answers - but keeping on going - and where that leads is for the future to decide. 

  Maybe your goals could do with some adjustment - and maybe, just maybe - you might consider positive and affirming relationships as one of our primary life goals.  Relationships are not always easy, and they take some work, but they also bring integrity, peace, truth, and love, to our living.  As I said to my brother last week, when he was complaining that he was always the last to know what was happening in the family - relationships are always two way, and when you start giving, you will also start receiving.

          Peace, Rev Bruce Wood