A friend of mine is an accomplished writer, speaker, leadership coach. He has an awesome podcast and blog. I love his incorporation of his faith into his calling, his work. With each of his posts or podcasts, I learn more about how to incorporate my faith and calling into the rest of my life.
He recently spent some time talking about goals and how important goals have been in his life personally and professionally and spiritually. I heard the words. I read them over and over. I listened to his guidance and I knew it to be truth. Only, I couldn’t relate to this concept. The ability to seamlessly align work, passions, calling, faith. I haven’t gotten there. And I am struggling with why.
Throughout most of my adult life and marriage, I have been focused on one goal: achievement. Not on a specific outcome, just on achieving the most possible. To me, achieving meant bringing attention and acclaim to myself in my career and personal life. To be known as someone important or smart or successful. Only, I could never quite get there. I kept getting in my own way. I kept self destructing. Whether it be from my flaws impacting my job or my marriage or my path to success, I kept falling short.
My friend talked about how important it was to align your passion, calling, strengths, and faith. Ultimately, long term goals should be set and worked toward every day. As I have thought about his direction and counsel, I have realized that my failings in this area are due to a couple of reasons: who sets my goals and how I go about seeking to achieve them.
My goals have always been just that, my goals. And that is where I have missed the mark. My goals are unreachable. God’s goals for my life aren’t. Because they are His goals for my life. And because they are His for my life, they are outcomes that He will direct me to reach. Stay with me here. This is where I started actually listening.
What I have always missed is that my outcome isn’t the right outcome. God created me and loves me as I am, flaws and all. My flaws are part of who I am. I need to think about them when I consider the path God wants me to take. So I have reassessed. My goals and outcomes are His plans for my life. I need to seek out His direction and plan for my life. That means intimate conversation and counsel with my God.
As I have done so, as I have improved my constant contact with God, I have learned that His goals for my life are different than mine and the same. My definition of success and achievement has been so material and worldly based. His definition of success is much more reachable, tangible, and impactful. My goals now revolve on impacting those around me to reveal through my own story that He loves the broken, the flawed, the damaged. That we are all broken and damaged and He wants us as we are, not as we hope to be.
I seek to achieve His goal for my life differently now. Before, I was focused on the outcome, reaching the end. As my friend recently told me, its about the journey. Its about today. Its about trusting Him with the outcome and knowing that my responsibility is to lean into Him for my today and tomorrow. And to be obedient to live today as He would have me to live. Trusting Him, trusting His goals for my life, using my passions for His purpose.