Remembering Goals in the Midst of Stress

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As a college student, it’s easy to lose sight of my goals. I mean, in the big picture it doesn’t make much of a difference. I’m working toward a degree and as long as I’m passing my classes I should be okay right? My daily life doesn’t matter as much because I’m accomplishing a bigger goal.

But really…

I lose sight of my goals every day. I get distracted and involved in hanging out with people or just doing homework. My future goals fade quickly when I’m talking to my friends. Why does it matter? Because life isn’t about where I’m going. It’s about making every moment it takes to get there count.

Sometimes I get so caught up in getting ahead on homework that I forget my goals. I have my homework done for this week, but now I want to do next week’s homework so I can have an easier time next week, but in reality, next week I’ll just do the week after’s homework. By the end of the semester I’ll only have one free week of school which will probably be spent studying for finals, then I will have accomplished nothing more in college than passing classes.

I find importance in remembering my goals because it gives me ambition for every day. When I remember what I want to do with my future career, I work harder in classes to do better because I want to be successful so my dreams will come true. The only problem is working harder makes me forget my goals and so the cycle starts over.

Sometimes I just need to remember that there’s more to life than homework and friends.

Someone I know once said that being a Christian is like constantly living in two different worlds, God’s world and ours. If we get too caught up in our world, we forget what God wants. We need to be living in God’s world, but life doesn’t always allow that. Some days we just need a reminder. I say this because thinking about my dreams and future, to me, is living in God’s world because I am pursuing what I believe He wants me to.

I was practicing my guitar earlier tonight, and between frustration and exhaustion I decided to just listen to the song I was trying to learn and organize my schedule. (Always doing something school related of course.)

I climbed on my bunk bed with the song playing and looked at my list of homework on the board next to my bed. Feeling overwhelmed with my unfinished homework for next week, I laid back and looked up at the ceiling. The second I did so my eyes rested on the cross above me.

Years ago, my best friend wrote Bible verses on index cards and taped them to her ceiling so she could read them any time she was on her bed. I stole her idea and made numerous verse cards (even going to the extent of laminating them). I put a few around my room, but stuffed the rest in a drawer and didn’t touch them until shortly before I moved to college.

When I first moved in I had these scattered over my entire wall with some pictures between. When my roommate and I rearranged our rooms for second semester, I had to take them all down because I had to share half of my wall with her. Once I moved to the top bunk I decided to steal my friend’s idea. With limited wall space and finally being close enough to the ceiling to read them, I carefully shaped some of the verses into a cross above my bed.

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Today, I listened to the words of the worship song I was trying to learn as I read through the verses above me. It took my breath away.

I agree that reading the Bible is an act of worship, but it never hit me this way. I’ve never felt like I was actually worshiping by reading them before. I can’t even describe the feeling. It was like seeing a close friend or family member that you love dearly for the first time in several months. I know that’s a strange comparison, but bear with me. It literally felt like I was running to the arms of my Beloved after I had ignored Him for so long. The most amazing part was that He was standing there waiting for me to come back.

Lying on my bed reminded me that my goals matter; God’s plan for me matters. Nearly every day I lose a battle to distraction, but the moment I start to win, I cannot feel freer. All of the things I was stressed about and overwhelmed with fade unimaginably fast when my eyes are set on Someone greater.

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“Even though…there are lots of obstacles blocking my path, I know…Christ will get me there.”

If you have ever held heavy chains for a few minutes then dropped them to the ground, this is what remembering God’s plan feels like to me. Even though it’s far away and there are lots of obstacles blocking my path, I know that if I work with Him, Christ will get me there. Remembering that He has a plan for me at all causes the weight of the chains to slide off. Once they are gone I’m ready to run faster than ever before. Like when a runner trains with weights on her ankles, once she takes them off running is easier.

The little things in my daily life do matter, but I only realize just how much when I see the goal God has set before me. 

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. -1 Corinthians 9:24          

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