Goal-Driven or Trust-Oriented?

This past week I had a conversation with someone who lived her life driven by her personal goals. I saw a lot of myself in her, and yet there was something distinctly different between the two of us and our manner of being goal-driven. For this friend, she had complete control over choosing, changing, and meeting her goals. No other force was at play and if at any point she would "unfathomably" be unable to achieve a goal, then it would be due to her own inability to choose appropriate goals. The ultimate source of her own life happiness was herself. She needed no one else.

In many ways I felt like she was hiding behind her goals. Using them as a barrier to keep people away. But as I reflected more on our conversation, I realized that her goal-centered orientation is more a reflection of her view of the ultimate reality of life. Her god is herself. There is no divine will that is greater than hers.

I could be like that. God has humbled me and shown me over and over again that there is something, Someone greater than myself, who has better plans than I could ever imagine! I can let go, because I can place my trust in the ultimate Creator of it all. Life is so much more freeing to live this way. I can still set goals and dream dreams, but I know that the author and perfecter of my life is involved in my life and will thwart my plans if necessary. God wants me to live life to its fullest - good and bad, success and failure, joy and tears. To avoid pain and to seek worldly success is not enough. To live in relationship with others, to experience the fullness of human emotion and experience, and to have intimate encounters with God is more-fulfilling to me then to meet every goal I set to achieve.

On Sunday, with these thoughts and a sermon about gratefulness in mind, I once again "let go." It has been hard for me to let go since some troubles hit and nearly overcame my family seven years ago. I've had trouble trusting Jesus. I've been afraid that God would send me and give me only the bad, only the troubles. But even if this were the case (which it isn't), in some strange way, the troubles help us to really feel and become alive! I don't want the hard things in life, but they are a reality - they come and go and life goes on. I do want the joys and the celebrations - the hopes and the overwhelming experience of love. As a Christian, I believe these remain present through the tough times.

It is precious that God redeemed humanity through the death of his son on the cross. I've heard that the death of a child is the worse pain that one may ever experience. Yet God lost his son to death. But this is the mystery and the profoundness of the moment - while all was lost, God redeemed - God resurrected (not just resuscitated) His son to life! Life and hope in the midst of the darkest of times - the worse of troubles and pain. Jesus Rose!

My plans, my dreams, my goals, are not good enough for my life. God's are far better than I feel I am worthy of receiving. I do now once again trust God and know that the rain and the sun are both for good. I will receive them both with thanksgiving! For God is good! He is my Savior and He reigns! His goals are perfect.


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