I am not, by nature, a goal oriented type of guy. I’m much more naturally a laid back, take-it-as-it-comes sort. But over the years I’ve leaned to value and appreciate the power of goals and dreams in a person’s life, but I’ve also learned that it’s critical to keep those goals and dreams in proper perspective. We need to learn to live with an eternal perspective. Let me explain.
For years I had a dream to begin a retreat center specifically for pastors and other full-time ministry people who were struggling, wounded, burnt-out, or just needed some rest and refocus time. My dream was that this retreat center would be structured around a small working ranch. This was a dream and a passion that motivated and moved me. Every experience and opportunity was evaluated against how it might prepare, equip, and move me towards fulfilling that dream. In fact I began pastoring in large part because I could see how that would be another step leading me to that ministry center.
This wasn’t even just my own dream. I am still certain that it was God who planted that dream, and it was with a sincere desire to serve God that I pursued it. But through that process I have come to understand that there is a greater goal: Jesus himself. And the ultimate fulfillment of that goal will be when Jesus returns. This is partly what Paul was speaking of in 1 Corinthians 15 where he speaks of the resurrection. One person has paraphrased what he said in verse 31 this way. “It’s resurrection, resurrection, always resurrection, that undergirds what I do and say, the way I live.” An eternal perspective.
I’m no longer pursuing the dream of a ranch retreat center. God used that to turn me to other dreams and goals. Corrie ten Boom once said, “I’ve learned that we must hold everything loosely, because when I grip it tightly, it hurts when the Father pries my fingers loose and takes it from me!” All my goals, even a basic as what I hope to accomplish today, I hold loosely before God knowing that as I do he will accomplish much greater things than I could even dream of that will be of eternal value.
Pursue your dreams passionately, but hold them loosely before God.