From the time she was a young girl, it had always been expected. She’d mature into a woman who would acquire a decent job with a good company, and spend her days making the climb up the corporate ladder.
With the goal of one day becoming the corporation’s CEO, she sits daily at her desk, staring at the computer, and often spends more time cleaning the screen than clicking the keyboard. She fills her calendar with meaningless tasks, she sits in daylong meetings sipping her coffee and thinking about her favorite TV shows, and she compiles mounds of “busy work.” She has no direction….but one day she plans to be on top!
Chances are, at this moment, you are thinking this woman is ridiculous. Who would invest so much of themselves in a career without a plan in place, expecting to one day advance to the top? I’d have a hard time believing many would encourage this thought process and work ethic, but unfortunately many of us do this exact same thing every day of our lives. It may not be in the form of a corporate job, however we spend our days shuffling from here to there, our smartphone calendars beeping reminders that it’s time to move on to the next task, and in the back of our minds we “expect” Heaven to be our final home. The problem is we are simply wandering without direction, without a mapped-out plan in place to help realize that goal.
1 Corinthians 9:26-27 states, “So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.”
Paul didn’t want to miss the promised reward, and that’s why he ran with a purpose; his direction was obtaining his prize. Many people have the capability to run in a race, but not everyone will run in a way to win. There are many families skipping along in this world, waving as they pass by, oblivious to the boulders that keep getting in their way. These boulders come in all shapes and forms, consisting of excuses, sports and recreation, inappropriate media, the temptation to gossip, and the love of money – just to name a few. These are hurdles to the goal line, and Satan is guiding them off course. We MUST have a plan in mind to see our family succeed. We must run in a way to win, jumping over the hurdles that block our path. It’s not acceptable to lose a single one of our loved ones in a ditch! We must have direction and run with aim!
There isn’t a magical regimen that each family must follow to see desired results, but with the Bible as our guide, we need to be methodical about a plan of action in meeting our goals. From the time we wake up until the time we lay our heads down at night, we should be impressing God’s Word on our family’s hearts (Deuteronomy 6:6-7). We should be spending our days looking for opportunities to teach our children lessons from God’s Word, and to guide them towards making good decisions. We shouldn’t let a day slip by that we don’t pray diligently for our family to stay the course, and be together one day in Heaven. Below are just a few examples to help spur your family on to thinking of creative ways of keeping your family on course:
Family Bible Time Breakfast: Start your day with a healthy dose of good food – both physically and spiritually. Experts say that the more time children spend around the table, the more they learn. I can’t think of a better way to spend time learning than diving into God’s Word as a family!
Prayer Board: Keep a running list of those who are in need of prayers in a central location your family regularly frequents. You are not only impressing the importance of talking with our Father on the hearts of your family, but you are being constantly reminded of God’s awesome power as you see each prayer answered in various ways.
Take a Walk: Take the time to be still and know God. There are times that life is knocking us down, and we feel burdened by the load of this world. Put on your walking shoes, load little ones up in a wagon, and take a journey with the simple goal in mind of pointing out all the wonderful things God has made. Just recognizing the many wonders of creation will make you appreciate what a powerful God we serve, and will instill in your children that God is indeed, the Creator of it all!
Have Regular Family Meetings: We understand the value of a planning meeting in the business world. Well…why not for our families? Make sure your children (young to old) know what’s their number one goal – TO GET TO HEAVEN. List markers of how your family intends to stay focused on that goal. As a family, what do you need to avoid? What are some areas you need to improve in to help make sure your mind continues to be set on things above? Let your children help in making this plan. That way they will have a level of ownership. Make sure your plan lines up with Scripture. Spend time in prayer as a family asking for both God’s guidance in developing the plan, and in the implementation and follow through.
These examples are meant to help guide your family toward planning your steps up the ladder of spiritual success. While serving God is not a checklist, we cannot expect heaven to appear “magically” one day. While most will agree that expecting a promotion without any effort is absurd, even running a race, in a state of cluelessness as to how to reach the destination, is pointless. We must also refrain from playing out this scenario ourselves with our spiritual lives. We must not get lost in the sea of busyness this world offers, and be guilty of running without a desired outcome. We must be diligent to keep our eyes on the prize in everything we do.
Let’s take a closer look at the woman who dreamed of corporate success, but has kept her goal at the forefront of each task she accomplishes. Upon inspection, we notice a woman who has intent. Her days are not filled with dusting off her computer, but rather making serious contributions to her company by entering pertinent information into it’s electronic brain. Her meetings are focused and forward thinking, and her schedule runs with great efficiency…and her resourcefulness and devotion to her plans advances her to the goal. She accomplishes much when she has a focus, a plan, and a purpose.
We must also have focus, a plan, and a purpose because if we fail to plan, we will plan to fail. Don’t miss out on the greatest reward just because you lost concentration and failed to plan!
Erin is a make-a-home-mom who resides in the Jacksonville, FL area where her husband, Joe, is a pulpit minister. She enjoys traveling the country with their 4 children while Joe conducts seminars on family and culture. She loves spending time with friends and family, scrapbooking, writing, homeschooling their children, and is the secretary of Kaio Publications, a non-profit organization which produces material for families, including the christian teenage electronic magazine, iLuminate.