As you ponder all of your goals for this year let me throw you this curve ball.
I’m not going to tell you not to set goals, but I might be saying don’t focus too much on them.
Don’t get me wrong, goals are great and they keep us on track. But I’m learning, with all my dreaming, I could be missing the very things that will allow me to experience them.
One of my favorite verses in Scripture sets the stage for one of the most-told stories in Scripture:
And David said, ‘The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.’ And Saul said to David, ‘Go, and the LORD be with you!’” 1 Samuel 17:37 (ESV)
In one verse a shepherd boy named David explains why he’s the man to take down the giant, Goliath – and it has nothing to do with the present day. David draws confidence for this fight from his experience of God’s faithfulness in the fields.
The lion and the bear led to the giant.
David met these two beasts because they messed with his sheep. As a shepherd, his sheep were top priority. So much so that David faced a lion and a bear to save his sheep. Wild guess, but I’m thinking that’s not a scenario in which it’s ideal to say, “I’ll figure it out when I get there.” It appears David spent time assessing the threats to his flock and preparing a plan to face them.
And, how did David even know a lion or a bear carried off a sheep from the flock?
He was paying attention.
David could be the shepherd boy who took down the Philistine champion because he engaged in the rhythms of his everyday life and trusted God in the midst of it.
We all want the giant. We dream of the day we sling that stone and what seemed like an insurmountable foe falls at our feet. But if we’re too fixed on our big dreams or long-term goals we can miss God’s daily preps that will ultimately bring us the confidence and skill we need to realize them.
My plan for the future is to be faithful with today.
Today, I find myself in an uncertain place. This year brings a lot of change and more questions than answers. But one thing I know I can do is engage in today. I can choose to be faithful today. And as I do, I can be sure I’m participating in God’s dreams for me.
How can you be faithful today?
Maybe it’s a simple trip to the grocery store or a story before bedtime, but it matters. Resist the urge to let your mind wander to tomorrow or next week or this holiday season or five years from now. Let God use today to form you for your tomorrow.
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