Everyone, at some point of his or her life, has dreamed of being somebody special, somebody who is important or someone who can make a difference; maybe even a hero. What happens to these dreams if and when they don’t come to pass? Our success is not accidental; goals have to be set and plans have to be devised to see the outcome we want. You have to know where you’re going and how you’re going to get there. Without goals our success can’t be measured and if we limit ourselves with self-doubt we will never be able to break past what we think is impossible. However, if we reach too far out into the sky without working towards our goal, we will find ourselves grasping towards an impossible dream.
Last year I set a goal to run a marathon and for those of you who know me this came out of nowhere. I had never run for fun in my life and never entertained the thought that it could be fun, but I knew that those who just dream towards a goal without working hard end up disappointed and disillusioned, so I trained and I trained and then I trained some more. I ran a total of 1000 miles last year getting ready for the Disney Marathon and if you would have told me a year before that I would be doing one, I would have laughed and said you were crazy. At the same time, I realized many of mans’ accomplishments were done through sheer desire and perseverance and many of those once impossible dreams are now realities as was the completion of my first full marathon last week! My performance didn’t set any land speed records and in no time in my life have I ever done anything so mentally and physically challenging, but I never gave up and I stuck to the plan. There were many moments I wanted to give up. One moment sticks out at mile 17 as the EMS teams on bikes with defibrillators on the back were close by and above me the vultures seemed to be circling thinking I was their next meal. In spite of this seemingly horrific and graphic fate, I kept going and never looked back!
Throughout life I have learned that experience is not the best teacher, but it is often times the most brutal. Every decision we make has an outcome and every path we choose has a destination. The only thing most of us learn from experience is what to expect when we repeat the same bad decisions. This being said; we all still have a propensity for choosing paths that do not lead in the direction we want to go. Life is short and its seasons pass by quickly; each one connected to the one that follows and it is today’s decisions that create tomorrow’s experiences. I challenge you to set a goal this year and to realize that each of us has a part in the body of Christ and each of us is called by God to a specific task. Realizing this principle and acting upon it is what allows us to proclaim God’s goodness and mercy throughout the world and it also brings purpose and meaning to our lives by using the gifts God has given us.