bits from bob....

Land Your Ship, Do Not Drift By

by Robert J. Young
January 1, 2004
©, 2004, Robert J. Young
[permission is given to reprint with credit noted]

We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. For if the message spoken by angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will. [Heb. 2:1-4]

This brief text contains two interesting navigation metaphors (pay attention, do not drift away). These metaphors raise at least two questions. What are the important things in your life, the things you pay very close attention to? What are your goals in life?

This past summer, I taught the book of Hebrews to the third and fourth year students at the Baxter Institute of Biblical and Cultural Studies in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. I had thirty-two students from all over Latin America in my class. The early verses of Hebrews 2 are the first of five warnings in the book of Hebrews. "We ought to give more earnest heed to the things we have heard lest at any time we should let them slip." The two navigation metaphors in this text are an interesting study, but in this article I want only to apply the text to the importance of goals in the Christian life.

It is easy to forget our goals as adults. It is easy to become inattentive to the important things of life. For many, youth is a time when goals are hardly considered at all. Inattention is considered normal. How many Christians are inattentive when it comes to the things of God? As a Christian, have you ever written down your goals? When I taught at the college-university level, I was required to submit an annual self-development plan. Writing down our goals keeps us from drifting.

Without our goals in mind, it is easy to become a ship without a rudder, compass, sail, or anchor. How willing would you be to book passage on such a ship? Failure would appear almost inevitable. Likewise, in the Christian life is easy to drift by the port. Failure is easy, success much more difficult.

It is not enough to have goals and write them down. Christians must ask whether those goals are from God. How can we tell? Two important questions are, Have you prayed about your goals? and Have you asked God's blessings on your activities? Goals which are genuinely a part of our Christian commitment are goals that create enough spiritual enthusiasm and excitement that we find motivation to fulfill the plan. Goals from God demand our best and are consistent with our talents and abilities. Goals from God integrate life.

When we consider that God desires all of our life, that no area of life is off limits to God, our spiritual goals ought to represent something worth giving our life for.

Take time to write down your spiritual goals. Write short-term, medium-range, and long-range goals. Maybe your would consider writing a mission statement for your life. What do you think your life is about from God's point of view? Remember that a good spiritual plan will also tough the mental, financial, physical, and social aspects of life, since God made us to be whole (integrated) people in his image.

Go to Articles Index

Return to Home Page
Last updated January 1, 2004.