Thursday, October 25, 2012

I Don't Set Goals for Myself

Our backyard

Recently someone asked me about goal-setting. "How do I go about setting goals for my life?" I found this question, and my response to it, so interesting. It gave me a new way to think of my life, the choices I make, and the direction I am heading in.

I said, "I don't set goals for myself. I haven't set goals for decades!" Instead, I am led by the One whose goals are redemptive and salvific. God is on a mission; I am his missional servant. God is my Shepherd; I am one of his sheep. Sheep don't set goals; instead, they are led.

There is, however, one sort of "goal" that makes sense to me. It looks like this. When God leads, obey and follow. Within the act of obedience there can be "goals." Call these "intra-obedience goals." For example, when God called me to teach in Kenya, I began to prepare physically, spiritually, and intellectually. Within the obedience I had a "goal" of getting the appropriate vaccinations. This was part of my "to do" list.

Intra-obedience goals are not things one brainstorms about. God has already given us purpose. God is the One who figures out our lives. Within God's purposes and calling we plan and administrate.