So many goals demand our attention each day and each one comes with its own degree of importance. Some of our goals may have long-term significance, while others are only short-term in significance. For example, those of us who might have wrestled with our dentist in our childhood as he “root-canaled” his way into the super sensitive parts of our teeth would quickly attest to the advantages of making a special effort to keep our teeth clean by brushing. To have strong, healthy, pain-free teeth and gums is a precious long-term goal for many because of the alternative stench, pain, lack of confidence and discomfort that results from a mouth riddled with cavities.
On the other hand Ginger might have a short-term goal to catch some butterflies in a jar and to observe their eating patterns for a few hours. Ginger’s purpose for catching and observing butterflies can be motivated by a desire to complete homework for a Science assignment. However, when the observation of the butterflies is complete, Ginger no longer concentrates on the butterflies. He opens his jar and allows them to fly freely to their next destination.
Sometimes a short-term goal can have long-term significance. I can desire to have a quick sushi meal or hamburger and end up with long-term food poisoning that results in fighting for my life in the hospital or even death. In contrast, it is possible for a long-term goal to have short-term significance. Someone who might have saved to be able to purchase a home for over 10 years could be abruptly uprooted from their new crib owing to an unfortunate fire or foreclosure.
With the many challenges and unforseen circumstances that inflame and punctuate our lives, choosing to concentrate on Permanent Goals and Permanent Achievements is a major accomplishment. We all want to know that the legacies we build stand the test of time and will ensure lasting rewards for which we can rejoice! However, to do this we must allow ourselves to be Honest about what we see around us. We must allow ourselves to reach to the point where we:
– Acknowledge, Embrace, Accept and Identify what a Permanent Goal is, and
– Acknowledge, Embrace, Accept and Identify what are Permanent Achievements.
A Permanent Goal can be defined as a constant goal to which someone commits himself or herself. This Permanent Goal is usually not bound by time limits and the individual expects and perseveres to see it to completion.
Here are two examples of Permanent Goals:
1. Declaring his resolution to make Christ his focus, the apostle Paul said:
“For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.” – 1 Corinthians 2:2
2. Ruth declared her resolution to her mother-in-law after being urged by her mother-in-law to return to her mother’s home:
16 And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:
17 Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.
18 When she saw that she was stedfastly minded to go with her, then she left speaking unto her.
– Ruth 1:16-18 [KJV]
A Permanent Achievement is an achievement that can conquer, suppress and exceed the limitations of time. It does not fail to shine with brilliance even after many generations have passed.
Here is an example of a Permanent Achievement – one which conquers, suppresses and exceeds the limitations of time:
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
– 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17 [KJV]
The Permanent Achievement of being caught up to heaven when Christ returns is a superb and excellent achievement that no person or circumstance can alter. Jesus has promised to take every single person who chooses Him and lives for Him on earth to heaven.
In the context of real life, man-made designations, trophies, accolades, wealth, vehicles, property are considered valuable for a time, but become obsolete with every passing generation. The acquisition of these endorsements and possessions are not Permanent Achievements because they can lose their value within seconds. Permanent Achievements are those achievements that are indestructible and guaranteed to last forever. I have never seen any dead person take property or possessions with them into their grave. Even in instances where a loved one places some item of the deceased person into the deceased person’s coffin – that item merely stays in the coffin for a limited time before it begins to decay. Therefore, to help us set Permanent Goals Jesus says:
19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
– Matthew 6:19-21 [KJV]
Jesus has made it possible for us to ensure that our efforts are focused on Permanent Achievements and Permanent Goals that will bring Permanent Rewards. He has provided a refuge against the storms of this life for you and I. He says in Matthew 11:28-29 [KJV]:
28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
Jesus already knows it will take us some time to learn and grasp His teachings and He is willing to work with us if we come to Him today! He can replace our stress with a child-like faith and dependence on His direction and His solutions. Please take a moment and bow your head and say to Him, “Lord I want to have the ability to understand how to work at Your goals. I want to understand how to set meaningful and Permanent Goals. Please help me to have the willpower to work toward Permanent Achievements that will bring joy and comfort to my thirsty soul and those around me in Jesus’ Name, Amen.