Every journey begins with one step.
I recently read a book entitled, "Write Your Heart Out" by Rebecca McClanahan, which offered many helpful suggestions to motivate the writer inside each and every one of us. One particular statement the author made really hit home. She said, "People often write about what they themselves need to hear." How true that is. I thought I wrote for one reason only, to encourage others in their walk with the Lord. However, reading that statement confirmed my deeper thoughts. I write what I myself need to hear. When I tell my reader, don't give up, you can do it, trust in the Lord, and He will direct your paths. It is what I myself desperately need to hear.
Today, I want to write about goals, hoping others would be encouraged towpress on towards their goal. As I scribble my notes on the back of a piece of scrap paper, I recognize, I'm writing what I needed to know. I needed reassurance about reaching my goals.
I heard a sermon on the radio a few years ago, where a pastor compared reaching our goals to a football game. He said something to the effect of the end zone being the ultimate goal for a football player. A good football player will keep his ultimate goal in mind, however, in order to reach his ultimate goal, he must first focus on the immediate goal. This wise football player must make it to the first down, which is the first step in reaching his ultimate goal. After he has accomplished that, he must then focus on reaching the next first down, then the next. Each first down brings him closer to the end zone, his ultimate goal.
If you are familiar with football, you know that it is no easy task for the football player to get from one first down to another, let alone reach the end zone for a touch down. He his knocked down, ran over, sat on, kicked at, hit, and smashed every step of the way. Yet, this either extremely focused or extremely insane individual gets back up and keeps going towards his ultimate goal.
God places desires in our hearts; goals that He wants to help us reach. Realizing we have them is not difficult; what is difficult is recognizing the importance of the smaller goals, the first downs as part of the journey that will lead us to our ultimate goal. We often get in God's way as He is trying to lead us to our ultimate goals, by way of the smaller ones. The bible says, "After beginning with the spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human nature." (Gal. 3:3) Heading towards our goals, we too are knocked down, ran over, sat on, kicked at, hit, and smashed every step of the way. Because of this, our human nature tries every way possible to reach our God given goals and desires by taking short cuts, and skipping around God. All this skipping, running, ducking and dodging only brings us back to square and thus we must begin our long journey towards the first down all over again.
When looking at Nehemiah, the ultimate goal God gave him was to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. (Nehemiah 1-7) As you read his story, you recognize his ability to keep his eye on the ultimate goal while pressing through each obstacle that occurred while running for the first down.
As I mentioned, I write what I myself need to hear. My ultimate goal is to know God and make Him known, one way being through writing. Seems simple enough. I should be able to whip up something magnificent in a short time to fulfill that goal right? Wrong! The vision is big; the end zone is in sight but I need Gods clear direction before I begin. I desire to reach hundreds, thousands, millions by written words of encouragement however, I must begin by typing one letter at a time. Believe me when I say, it is not always easy typing one letter at a time. Though I have all these thoughts floating around in my mind, and I sense God stirring my sprit, I will often stare at a blank page and panic. My human nature doesn't always want to wait on God for clear direction. My human nature doesn't always want to reach the first down of a single paragraph, my human nature wants to have books written and distributed nationwide without ever reaching the first down, which may be just a single paragraph for an audience of one.
As we run towards our own end zones, let us all be encouraged to know that the little steps, the first downs are not only important but a necessary part of reaching the ultimate goal God has for us.