Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Shooting for Success

“But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ” (Philippians 3:7, NIV 1984).

My father is an incredibly sweet, very well-known and much loved physician who retired at 82 from his internal medicine practice. Today was his 90th birthday. He had made a promise to himself when he was 14 that he would play tennis until he was 90. He and I challenged two members of our church today and won both sets. In the main church service today, when they announced his 90th birthday, he stood up as everyone clapped. Raising his fist in the air, then pointing upward, he beamed his usual smile and said, loud enough for all to hear, “Praise the Lord Jesus Christ.” And he meant it.

What does it mean to shoot for success in life?

My father has been successful by all known human measures: playing tennis at 90, his marriage to my mom one of the great romances in all of history, respected by colleagues and patients at the highest level, financially stable, all his kids loving him and all living in the same town. What dream common to man has he not achieved? And, as he was applauded by hundreds in his home church, he pointed to the only success that matters, “Praise the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Shooting for success is a lot about trajectory, the path by which you travel toward the bulls-eye of your choosing. So, what bulls-eye are you shooting for?

As C.S. Lewis put it, “If you aim for heaven, you get the earth thrown in. If you aim for earth, you get neither.”

I am convinced that most of life’s major decisions can be made by choosing our bulls-eye, shooting for that target in all that we do and then demanding that each decision in life follow that trajectory.

The target I choose, with all of my heart, is “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21, NIV 1984).

The only other major requirement for making life’s major decisions is that we stand in the right position when we aim, that position being, “…not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42, KJV). It is our business to want God’s will, seek His will and obey that which we understand. If we get our business right, it is totally then God’s business to place us where He wants us
You want success? You want to make the right decisions in getting there? Then tell me where you want to be when your arrow finishes its flight?

Dear God,
Let me shoot for Thee.

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