What are goals? Of course you know. It’s something you plan and work toward. How much does that play in your life?
I’ve discovered it plays quite a bit in my life since retirement. When working it came about naturally from the nature of climbing the ladder in the working world. I never really thought much of it, but I stopped recently to take stock of what goals in life I had ventured into.
I set a goal early in life because of what I felt was a calling by God to be in the ministry. The age of thirteen was young, but I’ve been in conversation, or prayer as most call it, since I was at least this young. Praying without ceasing, is more like what I consider my conversations with God. I admit I don’t listen all the time, but He’s always there to talk. Sometimes He gets my attention without my having the slightest of intention towards conversation at that particular moment. Okay, I’m rabbit-trailing.
Goals. Other than that, I had none. When I graduated from high school I found being 1A for the draft was a huge deterrent to making solid plans. I did sign up for something I enjoyed. I took one year of architectural drafting from Chicago Technical College and it landed me in a job in industrial construction and a field engineer, but the Army swooped me up for a two year active duty enlistment. That period of time in my life made me grow up something like overnight.
It got me out of a dead-end relationship and unfortunately I put myself into another that ended in divorce many years later. I feel really bad, since looking back on it I found I wasted my ex-spouses life as she was trying to put up with me. She wasn’t well received by my family I found and I know the feelings were mutual. I was just a country boy gone to the city. I tried to fit in, but it just didn’t happen. I’ve made my mistakes, but still in those early years, I just kind of took things as they came until. . .
When I was twenty six years old I became depressed and did not know why. It took some time, but I came to realize God was calling me back to Him and I began to search. It took a couple of years, but I found myself on my knees in front of my couch one Monday morning around one, in the dark, crying out to Him. I had found that life had become nothing without Him in my life. Just prior to that moment of the night I had gone to work and on the way over Cape Fear River bridge to DuPont for the night shift, I felt without Him in my life I was worthless and should end it if He wasn’t in it. For a small sliver of time I felt the void of God in my life and almost ran my car over the rail into the river. He stopped me. That’s why I was on my knees in my living room crying out to Him.
I knew that my dad’s life was shortened because he did not answer a similar call on his life and I vowed my goal was to serve God and end the curse that was on the Rowe men before me. That curse is broken. I still believe God has more for me to do and I wait on Him.
Other goals. Aside from the that one main goal, there began to be other smaller goals that took shape. I honed my drumming skills as a member of a worship team. I went on to become a deacon in the church, but I fell from grace to some extent due to a mistaken avenue of help to someone taking a wrong path. I am all the more careful now to avoid mistakes. The multitude of counsel is a wise avenue to take. Don’t try to do things alone.
I took a new a new direction at the age of thirty eight. Blue collar type work was left behind for more administrative white collar work. This was due to conversation with God. He instructed me to take the open door and He would restore me to my revenue at the time, but not without a test in finances and health. Three months after taking the Civil Service job I was three months behind on my mortgage and other bills and in the hospital for the first time in my life since I was born. He told me five years I would struggle and I did. On the week of my fifth anniversary I received a check in the mail to cover all my back expenses and put me ahead for a change and was awarded a job I had wanted with better pay. The rest of my twenty three years in Civil Service saw my salary double from that date of restoration. Goals. May not seem exactly as such, but I heard from God and obeyed Him. His Word was my goal.
I did not retire as well as planned. OPM is a slow moving giant in the Federal Government I found. All the goals I had placed in front of me were quashed with no pay for five months and we had to spend all the savings and buy-backs on leave I had hoped to pay off bills with. But remember, those I now see as my goals. Not God’s. He sets my goals. I have to recognize that. I am being patient as much as allows. I know down the road my goal is to be where God wants me.
In the mean time, I create small goals to keep me busy, like drive cars for dealers. I’m attending a class for substitute teacher certification next month and/or anything else I feel the unction to delve into. God can’t do anything unless I’m moving, so it pays to be moving. Just sitting at home is not a goal oriented function in life.
Even smaller things are goals. I still have trim to cut and put in place in the house, new tile for the bathroom, new pedestal sinks, which will require small re-plumbing issues as funds allow. In short, stay busy. God can’t help a stalled life. If you feel that way, do something. Anything to occupy the time. Do it as unto God and He will reward your efforts. Nothing is wasted.
Remember the old adage. Idleness is the devil’s workshop. It still applies. Have goals, no matter how big or small. And work towards them.