I was sorting through some electronic “post its” yesterday, and found a note to consider a post on the topic of having a goal in mind, and living to meet the goal. It was one of the last substantive Bible discussions/studies that Dianne and I did together, and it is all the more relevant now as she has gone on to her destination. It is now up to me (and each of us) to hold to our own paths.
The passage we were looking at is Proverbs 4:25-27, “Let your eyes look straight ahead;
fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet
and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.” What a wonderfully concise reminder of how to reach a goal!
Step one – “look straight ahead.” Don’t look about at the distractions that surround us. But at the path before us.
Step two – “fix your gaze.” Put simply “keep your eyes on the prize.” Know what that goal is, and focus on it wholeheartedly.
Step three – “give care thought to the path.” Know your route. Have the road map in mind so that you are not led to detours. And knowing the path be careful of your steps. Stumbling blocks may well be there, so anticipate them and give thought to the path.
Step four – “be steadfast.” Keep on going! Okay a breather might seem appropriate from time to time – a time to stop and take stock of your progress. But that doesn’t mean stop going forward in the long term. Neither does it mean that you rest upon your laurels or think you have gone far enough. Make sure you complete the whole journey. If you were trying to spend the day at the beach, you are hardly going to get the chance to swim if you spend the whole day stopped at highway services half way there.
Step five – “don’t turn right or left.” This is akin to avoiding the detours. There may be many appealing alternative routes. The scenery may be nicer, or some promise of a quicker arrival. But if it is not the proven route, you may well get lost! And Lost is where we were when we started the journey. Who wants to “Go back to Go?” No one wins the game by being the one that never started.
Step six – “keep your foot from evil.” In the spiritual equivalent of obeying the traffic laws, you need to be sure to travel correctly. Speeding, cutting up other traffic, road rage, and all the other blights of today’s travel have parallels. We need to make our journey with prayer in our heart, scripture in our minds, and fellowship at our side. Otherwise, is we step into the realm of the negative (sin or evil) we may fail to reach our destination.
While this is a bit of a rambling recap of the conclusions drawn from a months old conversation it is a great reminder of how to make the journey.