What then?

by Bo Bryson | No Comments

When we opened Trinity almost 15 years ago, my consistent prayer was a version of this: ‘Lord, let us see 30 patients today.” I would pray that as I entered the office but never really telling anyone. At some point (can’t remember when), I told Jennifer my prayer. She prayed it for a while then one day she asked it: “What then?” I said, “what do you mean, what then?’ She said, “Well, if you see 30, you gonna pray for 40, 50? When does it stop?’ I did not have a great answer what-thenfor her but I know that conversation was just the start of a shift in my prayer life toward Trinity and the patients we serve.
I had forgotten about the above conversation until a patient told me she was giving a talk about goal setting and was going to call it, ‘Then Where…What Now?’ We talked about this for a bit but to sum up her thoughts: We all make goals (which is not a bad idea) however the goal (whatever it is) can become something we so focus on that we miss the present moments of the journey along the way to the goal. For instance, she said, ‘If your goal is to go to Australia on vacation and you actually get to go, can you be satisfied in the moment or is your heart and mind already asking, Then where? Or if you goal is to be able to do 10 pull-ups, once you are able do it, can you enjoy the moment or are you already asking, What now?’ You see, her point and Jennifer’s point is the same: We are so focused on a goal that we miss out on what is going on in the present moments of the journey and can actually miss out on life. But again, let me remind you, goals are not bad – they can actually be healthy and purposeful. As you consider your goals, just take into account the journey of getting to your goal and not just the end-point because what happens if you never are able to get to the end-point…what then?
The ‘what then’ question has not changed my prayer life but it also changed the way I set and desire to meet goas. Do not get me wrong, I am wired to set goals, achieve them, mark them off my list and move on to the next goal. When I ran my 40 miles, the goal was not just to finish the 40 miles but to run the entire time no matter how slow. I achieved my goal but if that was my only goal, I would have missed so much. During the training process, I learned so much about myself and the support of others. But this same process works in other areas beside the physical – goal setting and enjoying the journey works mentally, spiritually, financially as well. We are saving to go to Disney this year. Our end goal is Disney, period! But to get there, we have to save money. So, we have incorporated the kids by making a Disney poster, giving them money making opportunities, etc…Instead of just focusing on the goal, we are trying to focus on thee daily, weekly, monthly journey that will get us to our goal.
How do we set goals and enjoy the journey? I think it involves having a: settled and inspired heart. Can you be settled and inspired at the same time? Yes, I think you can! We must have a settled heart that is content in the moment of life we find ourselves no matter what stage of the journey but our heart must also be inspired to go after the goal set before us. To be only settled, we may never achieve our goals. To be only inspired, we may never be content no matter what we achieve. To be settled and to be inspired is nothing short of living a full adventurous life. Two verses I think about: (1) Philippians 4:11-13, “… I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content…In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (2) John 10:10, “…I have come to give life and life to the fullest.”
What then? Settle your heart in all circumstances. Be inspired to go after the full life. Do that and Then where? & What now? will be much easier to answer. Oh and do not forget, YOU CAN do all things!

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