Goals. If you aim at nothing you’ll hit it every time. The world has too many people who travel through life without any clear goals for what they want to accomplish. Get your eight hours a day in, get your pay check and don’t get hurt, are hardly goals that will change the world for any good. How many stories are there of people, young and old, who just seem to live their lives by reacting to the things that they encounter day by day. Aimlessness.
We are prone to think of younger people when we bemoan the lack of goals and strenuous pursuits and aiming at something. But it is not a problem restricted to the young. All age groups have it. The old man who has the intellectual ability and physical stamina to do something that matters but who thinks that because he has put in his nickel’s worth of effort to the world for forty years and now deserves to rest, is a pathetic, sad mess. He is wasting his life no less than the youth who sits in front of video games for hours on end. He may even be worse. The youth has the chance to rectify the situation. The aged may never come to their senses. There is no fool like an old fool.
Those who dream of winning the lottery and spending the rest of their lives travelling or sunning themselves or cruising around in a different sports car every week are fools. We are made for purpose and to achieve things that matter. We find purpose in pushing toward something, in expending energy toward a goal that has gripped the soul. Laziness, despair, hopelessness, surrender, laissez faire attitudes – these all are a curse upon an individual and all with whom he interacts. Even more, it is a curse upon a world that sorely needs to be conquered by those who know the good and pursue it.
But a goal is not enough. There are good goals and there are bad goals. It is hardly sufficient to teach our young people that as long as they pursue something they are fine. They need to be taught to pursue something worthwhile. Misplaced goals are worse than none at all.
All of this has been sparked by the news of a lady weighing 601 pounds who has decided to reach the weight of 1000 pounds. In order to achieve this, shall we say, hefty goal, she is spending $815.00/week on food. Where is the money coming from to finance such an endeavour? Is she independently wealthy? Not at all. She is earning money through her website where men pay a fee to watch her eat and, wait for it – wash herself.
Aside from the gross perversion that this represents it is a horrible waste of time. It is the utter waste of a life, both for the men and the woman. But it is much more than that.
It is sin. It is sin on many levels. But it is sin first of all because it violates the first and greatest commandment. There is no way in a hundred worlds that one can aim at becoming the weight of eight healthy women for the pleasure of hundreds of very unhealthy men, for the glory of God. It is simply not possible for this goal to be set for the glory of God, out of a supreme love for God and the honour of the only God there is. There is no way that this can be done without committing idolatry and slandering the name of the one true God.
But let us not throw too many stones. Any goal that is set is to be for the glory of God. One does not have to set one’s sights on weighing a thousand pounds in order to commit idolatry. We grill it into our children to “make something of themselves”. What we usually mean by that is that they become successful, wealthy, famous, popular, or all of the above. We let them know that we don’t want them to embarrass us. We worry about them getting sick or getting in with the wrong crowd and breathe a sigh of relief when they become adults without having done either.
And we treat their lack of faith in the Creator as if it is a small thing. My mother used to tell me that if I didn’t apply myself better in school I would amount to nothing but a ditch digger. My father would sidle up next to me and whisper in my ear, “Be a saved ditch digger”. He had right perspectives.
The woman who gets her fifteen minutes by striving to be grossly overweight is no more idolatrous than the model who eats tissues for lunch and has different men with different fetishes watching her. It is no worse than the parent who makes it known that what is important is career and money. It is similar to those who push toward being the best gamer or the collector of the most bottle caps or the reader of the most books. It is believers who chase after having the biggest church or writing the book that will end up on every Christian’s shelf. They are all self centered, self satisfying, and self absorbed. Goals are important and we can do no better than make as our own those which propelled the Apostle Paul in the work that God had called him to.
2 Cor. 5:9 – So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him.
Ephesians 1:16-18 – I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers,  that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him,  having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,
Ephesians 3:14-19 – For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,  from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,  that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being,  so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love,  may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,  and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Philippians. 3:7-14 – But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ.  Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ  and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—  that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,  that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.  Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.  Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,  I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
2 Timothy 2:15 – Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.
Now those are goals. And the issue is not that they are for those who are “full time” Christian workers. There is no such thing as a part time Christian worker. We are all full time believers in Jesus Christ. No. These are goals that you can take with you into any calling with the prayer that whatever you accomplish in life, these things will be more important, more noticeable more fruitful and more satisfying. They will have the smile of God upon them and they may even result in helping someone else find the God that such goals are adopted for.
An aimless life is a great tragedy. A life with God-less goals is just as bad. There is a solution to both.