Building Something Beyond Myself

#1 It's a new year, and I, like so many others, have set some new goals for myself.
#2 To me, these goals are like small building blocks, so I'm asking myself, "What am I building?"

Building Something Beyond Myself

These are my original goals for 2016:

  • Running goals:
    • Run a sub-20:00 5k.  I did a 20:30 this year...cutting 10 seconds per mile is a lot harder than it sounds!
    • Run a 50-miler.  I really want to go back to Utah in September and up the ante...IV does too.
    • Eat for fuel.  Not dieting, just viewing everything I eat as fuel - I want to eat things that benefit my body most.
    • AND...Run more trails. Period.
  • Personal goals:
    • Compliment people more. Whenever I think something nice about a person I want to say it immediately instead of over-thinking it, and letting the moment pass, like I tend to do now.
    • Write more.  I'm going to try to sit down to write at least once a week.  I definitely won't be posting everything I write, but the act of trying keeps me thinking and digging and praying and learning.
  • Home school goals:
    • Finish the school year with a good attitude and my best efforts.
    • Focus on what's important.
    • Don't lose focus...that's the hard part.

I thought this was all good, and it's not bad, but then I read this:

From Moby Dick by Herman Melville:
Ishmael had just finished his summary of the different types of whales (not the most interesting part of the book so far), and he leaves it unfinished and says,
"...even as the great Cathedral of Cologne was left, with the cranes still standing upon the top of the uncompleted tower.  For small erections may be finished by their first architects; grand ones, true ones, ever leave the copestone to posterity.  God keep me from ever completing anything."


My train of thought:

  1. Great works continue on, and are often not completed, within the lifetime of the person that started them.
  2. God is the great architect. "For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God" (Hebrews 3:4).
  3. If I want to build something in life that will last beyond myself then it needs to be focused on God's work...This seems obvious to me.


But I don't want to throw out all my goals.

What to do?

I recently did a little personal study on Hannah from 1 Samuel 1.
Hannah had a goal...She wanted a son. 
She was being tormented by her husband's other wife for being barren, so she put all of her heart into praying for a child.
The twist is, she promised to give the child back to the Lord.
She prayed:
“O Lord of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head.” - 1 Samuel 1:11
And she kept her promise.

After this, her son, Samuel, went on to be a great prophet of God (1 Samuel 3:19-20).
He anointed both Saul and David as kings over Israel (1 Samuel 9 and 16).
David, of course, continues the pathway straight to Christ (Luke 3:23-38).

Hannah's dedication to the Lord allowed her to be part of building something much, MUCH, bigger than herself.  She was part of building God's Kingdom.

Therefore, instead of wiping out my goals, I want to re-focus them:

  • Running:
    • This is a pretty selfish sport in general, and really, it makes no difference if I meet these goals. It's kinda pointless...but I love it. :) 
    • I do, however, meet a lot of people through running.  I almost always come home from a race having made at least one new friend.  This is where I can take the focus off myself and put it on the lasting work. 
    • Most of my days are spent around my family, my church family, or other home school moms...very few non-believers there.  Running is a gateway for me into the world at this point in my life, and it is a chance for me to let His light shine through me.  It's my chance to "go" (Mark 16:15).
  • Personal:
    • These aren't too far off track...
    • Complimenting people with truthful compliments can equal a little kindness shown to them in a sometimes dark an "apple of gold" (Proverbs 25:11).
    • Writing is (obviously) my way of communicating the works of God in my life to others.  I hope that someone will be encouraged through it (Hebrews 3:13).
  • Home school:
    • My children are my mission field right now.  To keep my focus and have a good attitude will only help them.  I want them to see Christ through me, and I want to always be teaching them the Word (Deuteronomy 11:19).

I hope that you've set some goals of your own for the new year...small building blocks to build a better life for you and your family today, and prayerfully, laying foundations for works that will continue to grow long after you are gone.

Build your house on the rock, and keep your mind on things above (Matthew 7:24; Colossians 3:2)

11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.  - Titus 2:11-14
 Build it big.



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