Tag Archives: goals

Setting Goals

Trike TrackLiving in the Spirit
July 7, 2016

Scripture Reading: Colossians 1:1-14

For this reason, since the day we heard it, we have not ceased praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as you bear fruit in every good work and as you grow in the knowledge of God. –Colossians 1:9-10

I score high on being a goal oriented person and am totally capable of driving my process friends and co-workers crazy. With that caveat, I must say I appreciate Paul setting forth our ultimate goals as followers of Christ in the first section of his letter to the Colossians:

  • Lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him
  • Bear fruit in every good work
  • Grow in the knowledge of God

How much are we dedicated in our daily lives to these three goals? What does it mean to lead a life worthy of the Lord? Assuming that all our works are good in the first place, do we routinely assess whether they are bearing fruit? I was recently a part of a discussion about upgrading a playground when someone said he would like to see a track built to circle the area. That immediately made no sense to me. Why would anyone want children riding a little train around and around in an enclosed place with stockade fencing getting no exercise or educational benefit? I misunderstood. The track was a trike track where children could safely ride while getting tons of good exercise, a primary purpose of a playground. And finally, what are we doing to grow in the knowledge of God?

Of course, Paul leads off our scripture today with his commitment to praying without ceasing for our communion with God is crucial to understanding God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.

Prayer: Lord, help me never to stop learning about your way and your truth. Forgive me when I push ahead without consulting you or when I perceive your will through my self-limited frame of understanding.

All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized 
Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council 
of Churches of Christ in the United States of American. Used by permission. All rights 
reserved.

Whatever is Just

JUstice for childrenLiving in the Spirit
Light a Candle for Children
October 10, 2014

 Scripture Reading: Philippians 4:1-9 

Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.— Philippians 4:8-9

I am a very goal oriented person so it takes work for me to get into the processes of life. I have learned though that attaining most of the goals of life result from people doing the processes with perseverance. We must have a nice balance in both being goal oriented and dedicated to doing the processes that result in the attainment of our goals. Sports is an excellent example of that. The goal may be to win the game, but the game is won because the athletes have learned and practices the processes of the game so well that they become automatic on the field of play. Our goals as a follower of Christ are to love God, to love our neighbors as we love ourselves, and to make disciples for Christ. In our scripture today, Paul lists some of the processes that need to become automatic in our lives to help us achieve those goals. Doing justice is one of them.

Justice does not happen by accident. We must do justice. Justice, however, is not something we can ever do alone. It always entails interdependent relationships. Justice, of necessity, involves our working together, one with the other, and that requires us to find common ground on what is just.

Most of the issues that relate to our children are issues of justice. What is right for every child? Every child needs to be loved; have his or her basic needs of food, clothing, and shelter met; be educated; have proper preventive and, when necessary, restorative medical care; and be protected from harm. The list could go on but the point is these needs are the responsibility of all of us and the details of what they mean must be addressed in community.

 Oklahoma Fact: In 2010, 24.8% or 929,666 people in Oklahoma were children.*

Prayer: Lord, challenge us to take up both the goal and the processes of justice for children as they are more vulnerable to the storms of injustice than even we adults are. Amen.

* http://datacenter.kidscount.org/data/tables/2541-child-population—decade-count?loc=38&loct=2#detailed/2/any/false/133,11,1,42/any/8997,8998

 All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of American. Used by permission. All rights reserved.