Did you realize that you move toward whatever you fix your eyes on? It's natural. It's part of why we have to be taught to turn our heads without turning our car's steering wheel or bike's handlebars at the same time, lest we veer into the next lane of traffic. In life, we may set our sights on the next rung of the proverbial ladder we're climbing. Maybe we're working for a promotion, a dream job, a bigger house, a family of our own. Maybe we're striving for greater popularity or following, success, or fame. Maybe we really don't know what we're chasing after.
Sometimes we just find ourselves moving along with the people around us, completely unaware of what it is we're moving toward or why we're headed in that direction. It's then that a sense of dissatisfaction settles in, making us wonder how we got here and how we can change to live life more purposefully.
Most of us set goals last January for what we wanted to do and who we wanted to be in 2016. We aimed for things we wanted to achieve. We set our sights on things ahead.
But what exactly were we moving toward? Were we striving to be healthier? Happier? Smarter? Stronger? Richer? Kinder? Wiser?
We likely wanted to be many of those things. But if we try to do it in our own strength, it's only a matter of time before we fall flat on our faces. We just can't keep it up. That's why so many people quit on their New Year's resolutions before the snow melts.
However, if we were to find motivation and strength from somewhere else, a place where we can draw infinite amounts of both, along with encouragement for when we inevitably slip up, we would be far more likely to keep going. And isn't that what we all want, anyway? I don't think any of us really take pride in the fact that we give up on our resolutions quickly. We just get too tired of trying to keep all the plates spinning.
What are you moving toward? Are you trying to do it on your own? There certainly are days in which I'm in that boat. But, friends, it's not working out too well. The boat has holes caused by my faulty attempts to keep myself afloat. I just can't do it myself. There are too many things to try to accomplish all at once, and it takes an awful lot of hard work and sacrifice to make any one of them happen, let alone all of them.
Sometimes I sacrifice the wrong things. Sometimes my focus is misplaced. If my priorities are out of line, I'm likely to look back and feel like I wasted my time and didn't achieve much of anything worthwhile.
If I'm fixated on my small goals and my inability to achieve them myself, I'm going to work and work and work to try to accomplish them and find myself feeling worn out and empty. If I fix my eyes on the things above that don't decay or change or depend on earthly circumstances, I'll find more joy and hope and strength than I know what to do with. And find that even if I fail in my attempts to do what I want, I'll grow in ways I never had imagined and see that I'm moving toward an even better place.
I have to keep reminding myself day in and day out what I'm working for and why. I don't want to lose sight of that in the chaos of everyday life. And I have to remember that I can't do it alone. Knowing that keeps me humble. It keeps me focused on the right things. It keeps me from thinking too highly of myself and too little of God. It keeps things in perspective and reminds me that He and I are in this together, working toward the same goal. And that's the kind of path I want to be on, the type of goal I want to set my sights on.
What are you setting your sights on?