There once was a man who was constantly searching for “it.” When he was a child, “it” was the cookie jar on the shelf. When he became a teenager, “it” was a nice car. When he got a little older, “it” was a beautiful girlfriend. When he graduated from high school, “it” was admittance into a prestigious college. When he graduated from the college, “it” was a well-paying job. When he got the job, “it” was a comfortable home. When he moved into the home, “it” was a wife. When he got married, “it” was a child. When the child was born, “it” was giving the child the best of everything. Etc., etc., etc.
I trust that you can see the problem with chasing “it.” “It” is a shape-shifter that just can’t be caught. Even when you think you have “it” captured, “it” morphs into a new form and becomes something different. Because of this, there is no end game. The chase goes on and on and on.
Like that man in the story, many of us are so busy chasing earthly goals — one goal right after another — that we miss the simple blessings of each day’s humdrum status quo. For us, coming to the end of a year doesn’t mean a time of introspection, reflection, and thankfulness for all the truly wonderful things the closing year has brought us. Instead, it means a time of making a mental list of everything we’d like to get accomplished in the upcoming year.
Please understand that there is nothing wrong with setting goals or wanting to get things done. Noah built an ark. That took a great deal of planning and achieving. Solomon built a temple. That entailed the gathering of materials and the enlisting of the men who would do the building. Jesus began His public ministry at the age of 30 with His mind fixed squarely upon getting Himself crucified during Passover week in Jerusalem three-and-a-half years later. Even as He got up each day and did what God the Father wanted Him to do for that day, He never forgot that ultimate goal. You see, there’s nothing wrong with working toward some God-approved accomplishment. The problem arises when the pursuit of the accomplishment becomes God.
As is the case with so many things in life, what we need is balance. With God’s help we’ve got to learn how to appreciate and enjoy the blessings of each day even as we sneak a peak ahead to future days. We’ve got to dream about where God is taking us without overlooking where He has us. We’ve got to feast on our current harvests, which are the products of good seed we have sown in days past, without forgetting to sow the new seeds that will become our future harvests. Admittedly, this balance isn’t always easy to strike. But if we can strike it, we’ll be able to appreciate not only the blessings of the future but also the blessings of the present. And that is surely an accomplishment worth achieving.