The start of another year. It’s a time for goals to be made as well as hypotheses for how long it will take us to achieve them. These goals not only help us mark our progress but help us to know when we have completed what we set out to do. They are a way to identify success – to know that the sacrifices that we made, the time we invested, was worth it.
This inclination to measure progress is not unique to secular pursuits. Churches may set goals in regards to attendance or new memberships. Individuals may have aspirations in regards to the time that they will spend reading the Bible or memorizing His Word. We may set good and beneficial goals for ourselves that will further our understanding of Who God is and deepen our relationship with Him. The problem arises when we think these goals are the end; when we think achieving them means that we have arrived. For the Christian, there is no earthly achievement that marks the pinnacle of our walk with Christ. This comes when Christ calls us Home.
Years ago, President George W. Bush found himself in a public relations nightmare when he stood on an aircraft carrier with a “Mission Accomplished’ banner hanging in the background. Time would demonstrate that success hadn’t been achieved in Iraq and in fact that the war would wage for years to come. We face a similar problem when we think achievement of the goals that we set here completes what God has given us to do. If we are still on this Earth, then there is still more that He has for us. Our mission is only completed when we are in His presence. He, not our goals, decides when our work here is done.
So as we start a new year, let us make sure that we resolve to love more and work harder for the sake of God’s Kingdom. At the same time, if we are still here next year, let us remember that we haven’t accomplished all that God has for us, and let us run hard after Him, so that when our mission here is over, we can here Him say “Well done.”
What are your goals for the new year? How will you continue to run hard after Christ even if you “accomplish” what you’ve set out to do?