Pitching…determines what I eat, when I go to bed, what I do when I’m awake. It determines how I spend my life when I’m not pitching. If it means I have to come to Florida and can’t get tanned because I might get a burn that would keep me from throwing for a few days, then I never go shirtless in the sun….if it means I have to remind myself to pet dogs with my left hand or throw logs on the fire with my left hand, then I do that, too. If it means in the winter I eat cottage cheese instead of chocolate chip cookies in order to keep my weight down, then I eat cottage cheese.
– Tom Seaver, Hall of Fame baseball pitcher
Tom Seaver is devoted to pitching, but we are living for so much more! Shouldn’t our devotion to the Lord far exceed his devotion to pitching?!? As a B4T’er, don’t we want to say the same things he says, except that we are speaking about and seeking the conversion of untold millions from darkness into His glorious light? There is far more at stake in B4T than a baseball game.
How, then, did Tom Seaver make his decisions? He had a very large, top line goal. Any smaller goals he had stood no chance of getting done unless they aligned with his number one goal. Each of us must define our own top goal – not in some new age sense, but in the sense that our top line goal should be to fulfill what the Lord is calling us to do. We should then have a few goals under the top line goal and a number of bottom line goals under those. The bottom line goals should be thrown out as soon as they are found not to aid in achieving the medium goals, which in turn aid in fulfilling the top line goal.
Consider what is God’s primary assignment, or top line goal for your whole life. If your bottom line goals aren’t aligned to your top line goals and you don’t throw them out, you probably won’t achieve your top line goal. What obstacles stand in the way to achieving your top line goal? Your medium goals should serve to answer that question and your bottom line goals should specifically work on knocking down those obstacles.
Warren Buffet is reported to have suggested this simple exercise:
- Write down 25 career goals
- Do some soul searching and circle only the top 5
- Take a good hard look at the other 20 and avoid them at all costs, because now you have found your distractions
Make columns called “Interesting” and “Important” and rank each 1-10 to find out which goals are most important.
May I suggest we each modify Warren Buffet’s exercise by starting with what we know God wants us to do with our life. Then we should write down our goals. Then we should circle the ones we know He has set as our top priorities, or at least ones that we are very interested in. Take the rest of the non-circled goals that don’t link somehow to the top line goal and avoid them at all costs.
As Jesus says, Seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be yours as well. We need to learn to set and keep His first things first in our lives. By prioritizing God’s goals for our lives, we can prevent Satan from using the good things happening around us to distract us from the best things.
OPEN USA supports workers in the 10/40 Window, who are doing Business for Transformation. This author’s identifying information has been withheld due to security reasons. To learn more about OPEN USA and B4T, visit Find Yourself in B4T.