A New Goal

To-do lists and goals are friends I keep near by. Though they work me hard and pressure me, I love to have a measuring stick of success. Apart from God, my daily ambition is to avoid failure at all costs.

As my life ebbs and flows, so does my definition of success.No longer trying to ace my college exam, I’m fighting to stay on top of laundry. No longer trying to be a good Christian (aware that I can’t be good on my own), triumph equals dependency. But still, I live and die to avoid failure.

But in the landscape of success and failure, Psalm 27 gives me a new frame of reference. David’s words redefine my understanding of winning and losing, of victory and defeat. Describing his current position with words like war, evildoers, adversaries, enemies, and devour, David shocks me with his only goal:

One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord and to meditate in His temple.

Success is not the resolution of a particular set of circumstances. Success is choosing to find my joy in the character of God and what He has done through Jesus, above all other available joys.

David’s one thing was to see God, to behold God, and to meditate on God. His prayer has become my own: no matter the to do list, no matter the pressing circumstances, no matter what others perceive my goal should be, may my heart still proclaim: One thing I desire from God, to see Him and behold His beauty. This and this alone is victory in my sin-stained, goal-driven, self-sufficient heart.


  1. Marion Hostetler

    Well said! Thanks for putting into words what my heart cries for!

  2. kayharms

    Oh, I needed to read this today Kelly. My nest has recently emptied…as my kids now both live 2,000 miles away from me. And I’ve been struggling with redefining my purpose, my goals, my days. Strangely, not that much really has changed. My kids haven’t lived at home for four years now. But as they’ve moved further away and become even less a part of my daily life, I’ve struggled. I’ve felt aimless and purposeless and lazy! I’m still working through all of that. But thank you for reminding me that God takes pleasure in my being more than my doing. He is not disappointed with me when I get to the end of a day and haven’t “accomplished anything!” Not that I want to make a habit of that. But I’m giving myself some grace as I go through this difficult transition. Blessings!

    1. Wow. @kayharms Well said. I love how you said, “God takes pleasure in my being more than my doing.” That’s powerful.

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