What is it about goals that can turn the toughest man (or woman) into Jello? That question has plagued me ever since the LORD confronted me in the quiet of my room ten years ago and told me to write.
Say what?!? Write?? Thank goodness a time frame wasn’t part of His original “agreement.” It began only as a task. Tasks are easier than goals. “Learn the craft,” He said. “Find mentors and apprentice yourself.” Years later I’m still comfortable with staying in the same spot I was back then. But now God wants me to move forward. And He’s requiring I set a goal.
Goal. G-O-A-L. Note it’s a four-lettered word. It’s also ambiguous, which means the first step in setting a writing goal is to define what it means to you. For some, “writing goal” means typing so many words per day. To others, studying the craft, attending workshops and seminars, reading books, or talking to their writing partners. It can be mailing a manuscript or making an appointment with an agent. It might even be as simple as waking up in the morning and saying, “Today, I’ll try.”
I love all those movies that have to do with writers. The most difficult obstacle they seem to have to overcome is what to write. Ah, that it should be so easy! But all “real” writers know it isn’t. “Goal” eventually pops into the equation and messes with the creative juices. Sitting at a typewriter (or computer), mustering up inspiration, is hit head-on with the reality that something needs to get down on paper…soon, or the window of opportunity might close. “Goal” quickly becomes the pin that bursts the bubble.
Paul said, “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 3:13b-14). Not the goal Paul set for himself, but the goal God set in motion. Nothing more. Nothing less.
I need to remember that God will not give me heavy burdens to bear. His goals are doable. They will not break me. I don’t have to turn into Jello when God is by myside. And finding comfort in that, my friend, tastes better than chocolate any ol’ day.