Living in the Moment

1 Corinthians 9:   25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.

Successful elite athletes must incorporate goal setting into their lives if they want to achieve the success they dream about.  A common acronym used to describe the best goal setting method is SMART.  Set Specific goals (i.e. they can’t be vague).  Set Measurable goals (i.e. include precise measurements, dates etc.).  Set Attainable goals (i.e. they need to be challenging but still feasible).  Set Relevant goals (i.e. they should be in keeping with the direction you want to take with your life).  And finally, set Time (i.e. your goals must have a timeline).

You will find that every successful elite athlete has set specific goals in the future that they want to attain.  Everything they do leads towards that end goal and few hours go by in the day in which they do not think about it.  One example of this would be an Olympic athlete in quest of a gold medal.  For at least four years between the games they eat, work and sleep with that end goal in mind.  All of their preparation, all of their activities are about that one brief time in the future, perhaps just one day.  It is hard to believe that people would expend so much energy for a hunk of medal to be hung around their necks, or as Paul said, “A crown that will not last”.

As an athlete, however, I understand the thrill of setting challenging goals, disciplining yourself and then achieving the goal.  I understand that it is a necessary discipline if an athlete ever wants to achieve the highest level.  However, when it comes to the Christian walk, I believe our walk is about more than just achieving our dreams of success down the road.

In fact God’s purpose might be the exact opposite of what we think our dream is or our goal is.  We think God is leading us in a specific direction as the ultimate end, but in fact arriving at that goal may be of little importance to God.  Oswald Chambers said: “what we see as only the process of reaching a particular end, God sees as the goal itself” (My Utmost for His Highest, July 28).

We will go through many challenges in life, and our responsibility is to remain calm through those challenges, relying on God with complete faith, and in doing so we are already achieving the goal God has for our lives.  We need to remember Isaiah 54:10 “Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.”  Walk in that confidence and in that faith and be a winner each day as you commit to resting in his arms and being faithful to Him.  Live for today!

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