Hidden Nuggets Series #60 – “Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection…”- I Corinthians 9:26-27
Yet, here I am at 9:30 am writing a post. Why? All because of the writing challenge I chose to lead and participate in for the month of October. Thirty-one straight days of writing 500 words a day was the goal. I’m a third of the way home at the time of this writing without missing a day.
And I’m not about to let some bodily discomfort and multiple trips to the bathroom stop me now. (In fact, sickness is the one scenario that I suspected might derail my efforts when I announced the challenge. Interesting isn’t it…it’s come true.)
Goals are funny that way. If it weren’t for this challenge, there would be no way I’d be typing this out now. But the fact there is a destination out there I’m reaching toward is giving me the strength and focus to push through in a very weak moment.
We all have weak moments don’t we? I can remember times not wanting to go to classes in college just because I had a headache. Or not wanting to go because it was springtime and the nearby park looked oh so more inviting than Intro to Composition.
The decisions made in weak moments reflect much about our character and how important we deem the end goal. Slack off just a bit as I mentioned in last Friday’s Hidden Nugget and the consequences might not be what you had hoped for. It could mean the difference between reaching the goal or coming up short.
How Do Goals Affect You?
Do goals impact you this way? I’ve noticed over the course of my life that setting a goal – anything really – brings me clarity and focus on what I should be doing in the moment. Without them I feel directionless and often end up succumbing to those weak moments.
This is true no matter what area of life I choose to set a goal in – be it a spiritual goal, a relationship goal or a physical/health related goal. Doesn’t matter. Goals help push me to accomplish more than I supposed could be done.
It’s odd really because a lot of goals only affect us don’t they? There would be no huge ramifications that would impact anyone else’s life (or my own for that matter) if I skipped a day of this writing challenge. So what that I missed a day, right? My life’s not going to end. My blog won’t shut down. I’ll still have a loving wife and kids come home to me at night.
What is it about the goal that makes us grit our teeth and bear the weak moments?
I’ve come to believe it’s the winning feeling.
The Thrill of Victory
I want to feel the joy of victory. The high that comes from winning is like none other.
Winning a high school state soccer and basketball championship as a senior.
Walking the stage to get handed that diploma in college.
Leading my high school as principal to becoming accredited by our state.
Finishing my first marathon…then besting that first time in the second one.
These were all big goals I accomplished at various stages of my life. In the pursuit of them I had some really weak moments. But the thrill of accomplishing each one was intoxicating.
That feeling comes back to memory each time I set out on an audacious goal. I want to feel it again. But it won’t come unless there is a finish line and I exercise discipline along the way.
Set Your Eyes on the Target
When I’m dealing with weak moments, this verse from the Bible often comes to mind…
“Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection…” (I Corinthians 9:26-27)
The missionary Paul is talking about his desire to preach the Gospel message around the known world. He knows this is the goal God has called him. At the same time he recognizes the frailty of his mind and body to accomplish this enormous task.
So he runs in the right direction with surety. He fights, hitting the target each time. He disciplines his body so that he does not give in to moments of mental or emotional fatigue. His eyes are fixed firmly on the end result.
Where are your eyes today? Are they drifting here and there with no target on which to focus? Are you beating the air in vain?
Set some goals to help you achieve more in life. They will help you accomplish more than you thought able. Just like mine has done to help me finish this post on a day I’m nowhere near 100%.
(Note: This post was written on Friday, Oct. 10th. The sickness started with my youngest and has touched 5/6 of our family. Only Mrs. Luke1428 has dodged it thus far. I’m feeling much better but my oldest son and daughter are still fighting it.)
How do goals help you through weak moments? Do you love the thrill that comes from winning – from reaching a goal? What big thing are you focused on right now?
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