Recently, the hashtag "#goals" has been widely used on social media. If a person is scrolling through Instagram and sees a beautiful couple, they might comment with the hashtag #relationshipgoals, or if they see a stylish outfit on a person, they comment with the hashtag #fashiongoals, a picture of a beautiful, toned body might inspire the hashtag #fitnessgoals, and on and on it goes, looking at other people and other people’s things and aspiring to them.
In fact, “aspiring” might actually be a generous word to describe the sentiments people are expressing with this hashtag. Aspiring, would indicate some level of effort to actually achieve what these other people on Instagram appear to have. However, I actually think this hashtag generally denotes a sense of envy, and that’s all. Do we really want other people’s lives that much? Do we as Christians not realize that God has written a story for our own lives that encompasses our highest fulfillment and purpose, so why do we give up on our own stories and instead spend all our time scrolling through other people’s lives and wanting their story instead.
I think the answer to this question lies in the word “vision” the Bible tells us in Proverbs 29:18 that “without a vision the people perish.” God has a purpose for your life. It is up to you to catch God’s vision for your own life and get excited about who you are as a God-designed individual with a singular purpose. Vision literally means “to see;” do you see what your purpose on this earth is? Do you understand the unique gifts and experience God has blessed you with? Are you looking for ways to be used by God? Or is your sightline so cluttered with other people’s lives that you’ve completely lost sight of your own?
Is your own life perishing because you have no vision?
A woman who suffered from infertility was once asked how she coped with going to her friends’ baby showers. She replied that she would remind herself, that she only wanted the story that God was writing for her. She knew whatever it was, it would be great, because it was what God had for her. She was excited about her future and how God was going to use her and didn’t allow other people’s stories to make her feel like hers wasn’t as good as theirs. She knew, if she continued to follow God, He would write her a good and purpose-filled story. I think that is something we all need to remember. God has a plan and a purpose for you and your #goals need to be the future that God has written for you, not the one He has written for somebody else.
If we picture a jigsaw puzzle, we realize that every piece of the jigsaw is of equal importance. The picture will never be complete if each puzzle piece is not in its unique place. There is a place for you, a future for you; you were created for a purpose only you can fulfill. But if you are wishing you are a different piece of the puzzle and desperately trying to change to look like that piece, then it will ruin the whole puzzle.
Let’s have a vision for our lives, but let it be the one that God has created uniquely for us. This is the best way to make an impact on this world and to live a fulfilled life.
Another version translates that scripture in Proverbs 29:18 by saying “without a vision people cast off restraint,” if you are not aiming toward something, then you don’t need to put any restraints on your life, you can cast them off. But a person who is working toward a goal will put restraints on their life. An athlete will get up early and go out training every morning to position themselves to achieve the vision they have for their life. So yes, it is good to have goals, but they should be the goals God has placed on your heart for your own future. They should excite you about your own life and future rather than make you feel down trodden because your life isn’t as good as someone else’s.
Remember you are a vital part of God’s eternal puzzle.
For His thoughts are not our thoughts, and His ways are not our ways, as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are His ways higher than our ways and His thoughts higher than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8).
James 1:25 talks about us as believers walking in the law of liberty. "Law of liberty" seems like an oxymoron, but actually, in God’s plan for your life, it is not. When we have God’s vision for our lives, we will follow His ways; this will mean putting certain restraints on our lives, however; they are there for a purpose. When we follow God in every area in our lives, we can walk in true freedom. The freedom He has won for us, the freedom to be all He has called us to be and do all He has called us to do.
I would encourage you, in your pursuit of God’s purpose for your life, to restrain your feelings of being less than anyone else or feeling your life is not as good as theirs. Instead, get excited about the story God has written for you and make your #goals the calling God has placed on your own, very important life.