Friday, January 1, 2010

To be or not to be...

A few weeks ago, I heard a sermon from Chip Ingram that shed some insight on setting goals and objectives for our lives. He mentioned that many years ago, he wrote down some goals about the kind of person he wanted to be. He always puts these goals before him when he is scheduling things in his calendar. That way, he always pencils in activities that will work towards those goals. So if one of his goals is to be a great husband, then he pencils in breakfast with his wife on such and such a day, etc.

The beauty of this is that it goes beyond prioritizing daily activities from your to-do lists. It helps us understand the motivation behind why we do certain things and weeds out that which really is not important.

This is probably why I gave up years ago on my resolution to learn how to play the guitar. It would be so wonderful to pick up the guitar and break out in song, but it hasn't happened because it really didn't fit within my life goals.

And how many of us end the day or the year lamenting we aren't accomplishing much? First, have we ever stopped to think what defines our accomplishments? Or have our definitions come from others or what we think others define as accomplishments?

Along those lines, I once heard an interview with Scott A. Sandage, author of Born Losers, in which he explores the history of failure in America. His explanation of the premise of the book was what caught my attention. If I recall correctly, he was listening to his grandmother describe all the failures of her late husband's business ventures. After such a dismal account, she paused, then stated, "He was a good man." What caught Mr. Sandage's attention was that although he was an utter failure in many people's eyes, he was fondly remembered by his wife as a good man.

Hmmm... something to think about. Wait. Scott A. Sandage already did that for us so maybe we should just read his book :-)

So as the new year is always one time of reflection in our lives, step back and take stock of the kind of person you desire to be, especially in the eyes of our loving God. Write them down. These will be lifelong goals, not a to-do this year list. Over time, you can reflect upon whether you are growing in these areas or not.

Thank you for reading and have a happy and prosperous New Year!

By the way, if you are interested in listening to Chip Ingram's sermon, Develop Great Habits, you can purchase the MP3 from his website.

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