It's important to live with clear goals in mind. It's far too easy to drift through life: a few hours wasted on the Internet, a few years wasted at a job, decades of neglecting a family. Without goals, we become lazy and complacent. At the same time, it's important to make sure we have the right goals. Without a goal, we won't have direction, but with the wrong goal, we'll be headed in the wrong direction twice as fast. That's what a friend recently reminded me.

I'm a very pragmatic person. Have a goal; get it done. This is awesome for things like resumes and filling job descriptions. However, it's less awesome in our Christian walks.

First, it's completely bottom-backwards. The whole point of Christianity is that we didn't have a goal, we didn't know what we were doing (though we thought we did), and even if we wanted holiness for ourselves, we weren't able to accomplish it for ourselves. Christianity is not goal-oriented, it's God-oriented (wow, did I really just say that?) It's horribly cheesy (watch for the wristbands- it will be the next big thing!), but it's kind of true. And if that's the foundation of our faith, what makes us think that things will suddenly change post-conversion? It is by grace that we're saved, and it's by grace that God will finish the work that he's started in us. It's not about what we can accomplish for ourselves while pretending we're accomplishing it for God.

And that's the second thing. What my friend made me realize is that a lot of the time, we have the wrong goals. A lot of the time, even our "spiritual" goals aren't spiritual at all. Take something like singleness. Singleness is a great thing. Those who are single can use it as a "training ground" to become a better future spouse or to forge a better career. We can even phrase it in terms of spirituality: become a better future godly spouse and forge a better career for God's kingdom. It sounds godly, doesn't it?

But what happens if God doesn't give us a spouse, or he doesn't give us an awesome career? Does that mean our time of singleness was all for naught? Well, we know that God doesn't waste our time. We know that He has a plan. We also know that there's a good possibility that His plan doesn't include marriage or it doesn't include a great career. Ergo, maybe our goals are wrong. Maybe even the best laid plans of mice and men oft go awry. Maybe we shouldn't say we will do this or that tomorrow or the next day, when we don't even know the number of hairs on our heads.

What if we made sanctification itself our goal? What if we focused on the process and not the destination? What if we focused on enjoying and savoring and glorifying and living in the presence of God instead of trying to obtain something for ourselves? What if we were OK with not having the answers and not knowing the destination? What if we let God pick for us? Wouldn't that mean that we would always have what we want? That God will give us the desires of our hearts? That our cup will overflow?

I kind of like seeing. I want to know the future. I want clear goals for myself. I want to know where the finish line is. But the finish line is Christ Himself, faith is hope in things unseen, and I have a long ways to go. I don't have that kind of faith, but I do have faith that God can give it to me. And until he does, I will boast of my weakness because it is God who will give me strength.