I have goals for my life. Some are long term. Some are short term. Some of the short term goals will also contribute to my long term goals. Some won't necessarily. I'm finding that goals are good. They keep me focused and moving in the right direction. There can be many distractions along the way that would pull me momentarily away from the activities I are doing to see my goals come to pass thus just increasing the time it will takemes to meet those goals and adding discouragement when I don't seem to be getting any closer to meeting them.
For instance. I have a writing goal. It's long term. I have always loved to write but I have ALOT to learn about the craft of writing if I really want to be effective at it. So I have set short term goals along the way to help me as I pursue my long term writing goal. This blog is one of them. On-line writing courses another. Once I figured out, much to my amazement, that people would actually read what I write and come back faithfully day after day to read more of what I write I decided to see if anyone would pay to read what I write. I'm not talking about being published with a by-line...not yet. (I'm taking baby steps here!) I took a writing test for an on-line blogging service and passed. They provide me with several hundred companies that need copy writing services. I can write as much or as little as I like so there's no pressure. After all, I do work full time and have a family to care for. I thought it would be a good way to write on a more consistent basis, be forced to write outside of my comfort zone by having to write according to the customer's requirements and standards, and to make a little money on the side. I had a financial goal for the year in mind, so I set weekly writing goals that would help me meet the financial goal. The financial goal was also set with a bigger goal in mind, one I cannot share just yet.
As I began writing, again much to my amazement, customers bought up practically everything that I wrote and would even move it to the top of their que so that they could publish it ahead of others that were already sitting there waiting to be published. My weekly writing goals were usually met in a day. After awhile, I found myself slacking off because my short term goals were being met instead of pushing myself just a little harder to exceed my goals or change them. (There is wisdom in this because it would keep me from becoming a crazed idiot and ignoring more important things to write and make money.) On the other hand, I had lost sight of my long term goal. I grew satisfied with just meeting the short term goal. Once I began to focus on my longer term goals, I was able to increase the amount of writing that I was doing-without becoming a crazed idiot, I might add-because I was once again inspired to do what it will take to reach my long term goal.
In the Bible, Abraham had a goal. He was "looking for a city whose builder and maker was God." His short term goal-inhabiting the land that God showed him-was met. He was living in the land of promise. But the Bible says that he was living as an alien (a tent dweller with no permanent residence) in that land. Even though the short term goal of God had been met, the long term goal was still ahead and as much as Abraham could have enjoyed the promised land, and I'm sure he did, he was just never going to be completely satisfied until he had seen that long term goal come to pass. Spiritual goals are much more important than my temporal writing goals but they seem to be the ones I forget the most. That's why it's good to get up every morning and put my life into eternal perspective before embracing all the temporal goals I have for the day. It helps me use the temporal activities of life in such a way as to always be moving towards my spiritual goal, which, by the way, is the same one that Abraham had! In my life, I've found that it alleviates all the pressures I feel from our culture, from society, and from people I interact with everyday to do, be, act or achieve certain things that really will have no bearing on eternity and to focus, live in, and pursue the . I'm so thankful that I have so much to look forward to!
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