St. Augustine, a Roman North African who lived from 354-430, once said “patience is the companion of wisdom.” This truth has certainly hit the nail on the head with me, because one of the hardest lessons a person with a type “A” personality has to learn is patience.
In past years, with me it’s always been, “Lord, give me patience, but don’t drag your feet, because I want it right NOW.” Is it possible that this could also be a problem for you? Are there things in your life that you would like to accomplish, or like to have that have taken much longer to achieve than you had planned? If so, take heart, because I have learned something over the past few years that may be an inspiration to you.
For most of my adult life I have been a strong believer in goal setting. I strongly believe that goals should be written down on paper so they can be driven deeper and deeper into the subconscious mind by the process of visualization, which occurs each time we read or look at them. In fact, there is no way to succeed without first having a goal, because there is no way to know when we have arrived if we don’t first decide where we are going.
The problem that developed for me over the past several months was setting a time limit on my goals. I might add, this is something the experts tell you that you MUST do if you are going to be successful. However, in my case, I would set a definite date when I wanted to have my goal achieved, and the date would come and go with my goal still unrealized. Needless to say, this was frustrating because, as I said earlier, I am a type “A” personality.
One day during my daily Bible study and prayer time, I asked the Lord to help me achieve my goals, but this time it was different. I said, “Lord, help me achieve my goals by YOUR timetable. Give it to me when YOU want me to have it.” Now, let me be quick to point out that this is not to be confused with the person who simply prays for something, and then sits down and waits for it to happen. The Bible says that faith without works is dead. No, I’m talking about asking the Lord to help you and then working as hard as you can to bring it about – and then leaving the results to God, that is, by HIS timetable.
Some people feel that goal setting and living by faith are conflicting ideas. The truth is that faith is an essential ingredient in reaching any goal. This principle can be found in I Corinthians 3:6, where the Apostle Paul says, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God caused the increase.” Granted, in this context Paul was referring to establishing churches and converting pagans to Christianity, but the principle that comes into play for goal setting is exactly the same. We ask for God’s help, set the goal that is consistent with His purpose, and then leave the growth or results to Him.
What I’ve learned from this experience is that you can’t beat Gods timetable! This past year we have experienced more positive growth than any time in the history of our company. More good things, more newspapers, and more speaking engagements have come about than I ever dreamed possible. What’s exciting is that this simple concept will work for every area of our lives: our personal, family, work or career, and social lives.
A life without goals lacks excitement and direction, and results in a life that is generally disappointing. In contrast, the goal-oriented life is energetic, enthusiastic, excited, and expectant. It is a life that is going somewhere and has a plan for getting there. If you are one who has never been willing to use this source of Unlimited Power, why not ask God to help you ... by HIS timetable. A good place to begin is with Proverbs 3:5-6 where it says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.”