A young man was walking along a country road. Along came a Farmer driving a wagon. Without asking permission, the young man jumped on the wagon and said, “I’m going to ride along with you to Louisville.” The Farmer just looked at him and said nothing. They rode for about an hour in quiet. The young man began to feel uneasy. He turned to the Farmer and said, “I say old man, how much farther is it to Louisville?”
The Farmer replied, “If you keep going in this direction I reckon it’s about 25,000 miles, but if you want to get off and walk back the other way, it’s about 11 miles, or 6 miles from where you jumped on.”

Solomon, the wisest man to ever live wrote, “Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.” Proverbs 21:5

Setting goals, planning ahead, are like stars. You may never reach them, but you can set your course by them. If planning were merely a matter of gathering information, then machines might do the job adequately. But planning also involves factors such as goals, means and interests which compete with the plans we make. In these areas, moral standards and choices rise quickly to the surface, and a planner’s character becomes a chief factor in the plans which are made.

There’s no better time than today to seek the Lord for His plans for you for this year. Each year around this time, I spend a day or two alone with the Master asking for His directions for the year. I tend to focus on 7 areas of life and work.

  1. Personal goals. Things I sense the Lord is speaking to me about in the areas of my mind, soul (spirit), and strength (body – health & exercise). With each area I ask the Master, what are things He would want me to be doing in each area; of study, learning, reading, doing?
  2. Family goals. These are focused on my wife, sons, daughter-in-law and grandchild, brother and sister and when they were alive my parents. Times of communication and encouragement are paramount.
  3. Home church or organization related goals. I want to know what the Lord would have me to be doing with each of these groups to whom I have responsibilities.
  4. Ministry goals. This area relates directly to those He has asked me to invest my life in. This could include language learning, EV or discipling goals.
  5. Team and mentors. To those I am directly accountable to, I seek His mind for communication, and objectives to be working on together.
  6. Job. Often these are the easiest as my business has obvious needs and areas to grow in, but also consider things to be doing with/for employees or co-workers.
  7. Character. Areas both non-spiritual and spiritual in sense He is wanting me to grow in.

Sometimes in life we just jump on for a ride without really finding out where the ride is going to take us. God has a ride mapped out for us already as we follow His divine will. Seeking Him for goals each year ensures we are going in the right direction.

PATRICK LAI and his family have worked in SE Asia for over 37 years. His experience in doing business with Jesus has brought him to understand the meaning of work and worship in the marketplace. He started 14 businesses in four countries, six of which are still operating. Patrick and his wife, May, mentor and coach businesspeople working where there are few or no Christians. Check out Patrick’s latest book, Workship, now available in paperback and e-book.