Growing Roots – Week 17
This week, God has been speaking to my heart about GOALS. Goals are measurable expectations we want to achieve in a timely manner.
This past Saturday, my son and I ran our second 5K race together. We had been training for this race for a while. We had set a GOAL back in February to run two different 5Ks this spring so we could compare our times and hopefully improve from the first to the second. We made a calendar (a plan) and checked off each training session as we went (accountability). We ran so fast at our first race that I wasn’t sure we’d be able to beat our time in the second race. But we trained consistently, despite bullying from kids at school and bad attitudes at home. At our race on Saturday, we noticed there are A LOT more kids at this race. We later learned that there were two local “running clubs” there from the local elementary/middle school. We also realized that the age brackets were divided differently than they were in the first race we had run.
HOWEVER, we set a goal for this race: to match or beat our time from the first race, and Bubba’s other goal was to beat his pediatrician who was also running in this race. Well, friends, we EXCEEDED our goal. We crushed our previous time by over a minute, Bubba beat his pediatrician (who did amazing, by the way), and I even managed to get first place in my age group. Bubba didn’t medal in his age group due to the width of it (13 and under, as opposed to 10 and under), but he was in 3rd place in his group (only 1st and 2nd get medals).
While we did a phenomenal job at our race, when we got home, I was sure to reinforce to Bubba how our rankings in the results didn’t really matter. What mattered was that we set a goal, made a plan, stayed accountable, persevered through hard times, and accomplished our goal.
As I reflected on our goal, our training process, and our results, I was forced to think about what goals I set for other areas of my life. Yes, I have health, fitness, and nutrition goals and my accountability groups help me stay on track. Hubby and I have financial goals that we are working towards and always reevaluating. I have social and relational goals. But I also have spiritual goals.
But do I have a plan to reach these goals that are measurable?
And how do you measure spiritual goals?
My MIL and I are reading through Psalms right now. Some of the psalms are short and some are long. We had decided to read 2-3 psalms a day if they were shorter. But this week while mowing the grass, I was listening to a podcast where the host commented how seminary students are encouraged to read through the passage of Scripture they will be teaching AT LEAST 15 times before starting to formulate their sermon. While I am NOT writing sermons, my GOAL of reading the Bible is to LEARN something that I can APPLY to my life. Simply reading the words and crossing it off of my “to-do” list is generally NOT a great plan for accomplishing this goal. So this week, I’ve just read one psalm each day. I’m reading each psalm multiple times as I strive to comprehend what the psalmist is feeling and how I can apply it to my life.
I’m not sure how to measure my spiritual growth and my GOALS other than to be constantly reevaluating them and being held accountable to them by sharing what I’m learning with other people, whether that be my MIL or my WOW group. This week, I have learned that the Holy Spirit is another great accountability partner. But just like human accountability partners, if I continuously ignore Him, I will no longer recognize His voice and His promptings. I need to stay in tune with Him, communicating CONSTANTLY with Him, listening to what He is saying, and OBEYING what He tells me to do, regardless of my level of comfort.
We are nearing the end of April, the fourth month of the year, a third of the way through. It’s time to reevaluate my goals, my motives behind those goals, and re-strategize my plan if necessary. It’s time to dig deep and find “the grit” like I heard one of the running coaches say on Saturday. If I want to grow my roots deeper in Christ (Colossians 2:6-7) this year, then I need to stay focused on my goal and not look backwards at where I was; I need to press on toward the goal of Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14). I need to surround myself with the people who will cheer me on (Hebrews 12:1), hold me accountable (Galatians 6:1), and pray for me (James 5:16).
How are your goals coming along? Are you having to re-strategize? Is it time to set NEW goals?