Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life? Or what will they give in return for their life?
Don’t you know that all the runners in the stadium run, but only one gets the prize? So run to win. Everyone who competes practices self-discipline in everything. The runners do this to get a crown of leaves that shrivel up and die, but we do it to receive a crown that never dies. So now this is how I run—not without a clear goal in sight.
I’ve never been a fan of New Years resolutions, probably because it seems that most of the resolutions I tend to make are revolved around changing something about my exterior self that I’m not happy with. Now don’t get me wrong: I am all about self-care and doing things to improve my over overall health and well-being. It’s just that when I set resolutions for the year, I tend to set the expectations way too high. It’s an all-or-nothing approach, and I tend to get discouraged when I fail.
That’s why I tend to approach the New Year with a set of goals. It’s the “aim” I desire for myself and I know that will come with a list of steps.
I believe that's what Paul was talking about when he wrote about having a “clear goal in sight.” Athletes train. They set the goals they desire for the season. They know it won’t be easy, but if they have vision and tenacity they can ultimately achieve their goals.
As followers of Christ, I believe we all have the goal to draw nearer to God every day throughout the year. That shouldn’t feel like an obligation, but a yearning to love and know God more. We achieve this by reading Scripture, praying, worshiping, and serving. As we continue to set goals for our life of faith, we draw closer to God, aiming to receiving the goal – the crown that never dies.
As we close out another year and begin a new one, we are grateful. As the days, weeks and months go by, strengthen us for the race ahead. Give us endurance and equip us, keeping our eyes on you – the author and the perfecter of our faith.
- Tino Herrera, Congregational Care Pastor
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