Weekly Thought – April 11, 2023
Fred often asked his children “Are you pleased with the direction you are going?” Then he would talk about “revectoring,” and the impact of even a miniscule change in long range direction.
Setting the Course
“What direction do I want my life to take?” That simple question is a major key to meaning. I personally am much more concerned with the direction than the goal. Whether it is business, ministry, or even family relations, I see people set goals, accomplish them, and too often put a period afterwards. A popular 1960s vocalist sang “Is That All There Is?” Reaching a goal can temporarily deflate momentum. Many express the idea that the joy was in the journey, not the checking it off a list.
I walked through the den where the family was watching TV. A commercial came on featuring an animated character slurping through a straw. The tag line played: “That’s the saddest sound I ever heard.” Apparently the chocolate-flavored milk drinking rabbit hit the bottom of the glass and kept on sucking on the straw. I don’t know if it sold product, but it was a catchy description of frustration. When the emphasis is on goals, not direction, we set people up for that “sad sound.”
Goals should be touchpoints along the trajectory of our stated direction to measure our progress, not an end in themselves.
An outstanding young friend called to tell me after reading my great undiscovered classic You and Your Network sat down and wrote four pages outlining his direction with plans for implementation. At 44 he outlined what would define his direction, setting near term and intermediate goals to maintain the direction, not serve as terminal points.
The Apostle Paul said, “This one thing I do…” He knew the secret of the direction of his life. He did not say “I am going to win 2,000, organize 14 churches.” He set his direction as knowing and serving Christ, crucified.
I like to interpret the word “righteousness” as “rightness.” When I say the rightness of God I mean we accept God’s definition of right and wrong. In the scripture we are told not to conform to this world. But actually I see an awful lot of Christians who think they are avoiding conformity if they sin slower than the modern society. They think as long as they stay on the conservative side of the population they are living as Christians. But this is counter to scripture and distorts the direction.
When we measure our progress by what the world deems acceptable we are taking a wrong turn on our decision to live for Christ as our direction. It is critical to stop and assess, “Am I satisfied with the direction I am taking?” If not, it is time to make adjustments in order to avoid arriving at a destination far afield from our original commitment.
This week think carefully: 1) When was the last time I assessed my life direction? 2) How easy is it for me to become goal oriented and lose sight of the theme of my life? 3) What is foundational and non-negotiable for me?
Words of Wisdom: “Goals should be touchpoints along the trajectory of our stated direction to measure our progress, not an ends in themselves.”
Wisdom from the Word: “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself to have attained this. Instead I am single-minded: Forgetting the things that are behind and reaching out for the things that are ahead.” (Philippians 3:13 NET Bible)