How Can I Reach My Goals?

A spiritual look at issues of interest to young people

When I was growing up on a farm in eastern Pennsylvania, I often wondered how my life would turn out. I wanted to see faraway places. I wanted to be all I could be. But there seemed to be a great distance between where I wanted to be and where I was. I lacked money, as well as social and educational opportunities.

I didn't know too much about the Bible back then, but what I did know encouraged me to trust God. Maybe that seems unusual. But so many people in the Bible trusted God that I guess I felt I could trust Him, too. The book of Proverbs, which is a collection of great short sayings, says, "Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established" (16:3).

From what I read, that certainly seemed to be the case with Jesus Christ. I learned what he had accomplished. He healed people who were ill or diseased. He helped those who had done wrong to find a new life. He even overcame death. After I found all this out, trusting God seemed like the best way to reach my goals.

My trust was based on my desire to follow God's direction. I expected that His direction would be good and loving. This doesn't mean that life was always easy or the way was always clear. But gradually I was able to understand better what was God's voice, and what were the negative voices of jealousy, pride, or discouragement. I could see that these negative voices were not leading me toward high goals, and that they'd keep my life on a very shortsighted level if I followed them.

One thing that helped me to aim high, with confidence, was Christian Science. It emphasizes that God is good, and that we are good because we are His children. It helped me to make my goals less materialistic and more spiritual. Something in a letter written by Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, explained how I could have a more satisfying life while also helping other people. Even though her letter was written to Christian Scientists, the ideas in it can be used by anyone. One part says: "As an active portion of one stupendous whole, goodness identifies man with universal good. Thus may each member of this church rise above the oft-repeated inquiry, What am I? to the scientific response: I am able to impart truth, health, and happiness, and this is my rock of salvation and my reason for existing" ("The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany," Pg. 165).

To be "able to impart truth, health, and happiness" seemed like a wonderful "reason for existing." I strongly suspected that a life filled with the desire to do this would never grow dull and boring. (And it hasn't!)

This same desire applies to any career goal, from journalist to lawyer, from artist to homemaker. But best of all, it isn't a distant goal that we may or may not get to "someday." Promoting "truth, health, and happiness" is something each of us can start reaching for today. You don't have to wait until you get older or have more money or education or experience. Instead, you can start right now to embody the attitudes and qualities that are from God.

And a really important quality would be goodness. We can be good because God, Spirit, is totally good. Since we are God's spiritual children, it follows that goodness is the actual substance of our being. We can see how we already include "truth, health, and happiness" because they are all good. They are part of the spiritual nature we have received from our creator, God.

I found that it's by letting my best desires into my life that I find my individual goals transformed. They become less selfish and more involved with helping everyone. And it's easier to see clearly how I can accomplish them.

So did I reach my goals? Did I get to go to faraway places? Actually, I did! And as I have drawn closer to God, I have seen new areas to explore and new adventures ahead. As you go down your path, take thoughts of God with you and let Him guide your steps. It worked for me; it will work for you also.

I press toward the mark

for the prize of the high calling

of God in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:14

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