Our choices, not just our intentions, determine our destination.
As I make plans, develop dreams, and set goals it is important to remember that the choices I make, not just the intentions I have, are what allow me to reach my destination. Many times people, myself included, set out on a path with the best intentions, but somewhere along the way we stop making the choices that will lead us to our desired destination.
You cannot graduate high school if you skip class and don’t do the homework.
You cannot loose weight if you eat 5000 calories, drink soda everyday, and never workout.
You cannot get a job if you fail to make a resume, fill out applications, and look for companies with openings.
You cannot remain pure until marriage if you choose to sleep with your boyfriend, girlfriend, or fiance beforehand.
You cannot reach the Olympics if you never train or compete.
These all seem to be no brainers. They seem to be common sense. But we see them play out all around us. So often we end up in a situation that we had no intention of ever getting into and find ourselves asking how we ever got there. Somewhere along the way our choices stopped lining up with our intentions.
Our nature, for the most part, opposes our best dreams and goals. For every person the struggle is different. There are some areas of life that come so easy they seem effortless. But then there are those parts of life that take constant effort and continual choice for us to remain on the path that will lead to our desired destination. Truth is, we all struggle with something, with some goal, with some dream. What is the goal you are fighting to achieve? What area do you have the best intentions, but struggle to make the choices that will fulfill the dream?
I can tell you this. The destination that takes the most effort and the most struggle, tends to be the most rewarding in the end. Just think about what makes a great book or a blockbuster movie… it’s the one where the hero has to overcome. Where battles are fought, choices are made, and struggles are conquered.
I was encouraged today when I was reminded of the best overcoming story of the ages. The one where Christ overcame the grave. You see He knew His destination: Heaven. To be seated at the right hand of God. Along the way there was struggle and temptation, trials and battles, but He never lost sight of His destination. His choices always lined up with His intentions. His destination was to redeem our failures. Where we fall short, He stands tall. It is in this truth that I stand: “that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures*”. I am thankful that my faith in Christ allows me to stand in His victory. In the days where I have veered from my intentions, I am thankful that I trust in someone who didn’t. In the days where my choices do line up with my intentions, I am thankful for the grace that allows me to make those choices. And in the days where destinations are reached and goals are achieved, I am thankful that my ultimate destination is still on it’s way.
*1 Corinthians 15:3-4