Life gets complicated sometimes.
Exams here and there, occasionally getting into fights with your friends and having all that drama with people around you. I have to admit that I am a person who gets caught up with these types of things. I am a person that gets lost in the details of my life. I love to make every single thing that I do to be as close to perfect as it can be. Especially in ministry, I usually end up doing things myself because I want them to be as close as they can be to my definition of 'perfect'. Because of this, I quickly get irritated, feel like everything is wrong, and lose motivation.
Being lost in details is like going to a shopping centre. You go there to buy one thing only, but as soon as you step into the shop, you start looking around and buy more stuff than what you came there for. When you finally get home, you realize that you did not actually buy the thing that you were meant to buy in the first place. You lost track of what you were doing.
It's the same as being lost in details; you lose track of your main and sole goal. So how do we keep our eye on the goal in this busy life? How do we not lose track of what we are doing?
1. Discern what is important
Discernment is one of those skills that are important for life. Without discernment, we lose sight of what the top priority is, and we put the not-so-important things to become the most important thing in life. When we look back on our lives, we will laugh at ourselves, as we remember the things that we put in our top priority list turning out to be not important in the present. Like when I was in year 7, I used to overwork myself to get the best marks, but now I look back and laugh at myself because I found that marks are not everything and that failing year 7 wasn’t the end of the world.
There are many more significant problems now, and we must know which ones are our top priorities. Losing a friendship is not the end of the world, and failing a test also is not the end of the world. This doesn’t mean you go around and cut off all your friendships or fail all your classes. However, it means that if you have tried your best and still fail your class, it’s okay; keep going and keep working hard. If you’ve lost your best friend, it’s not the end of the world; friendship comes and goes.
We learn from our mistakes, and thinking it is the end of the world if you make those mistakes won’t get you anywhere. My friend once said that if there is a problem, we have to move forwards, not move on. Moving forward means that we do something about it, learning from the mistake and handling the situation, while moving on is just trying to forget what happened but never learning anything from it. When faced with a problem, we have to move forward and remember that it is not the end of the world; we must learn from it and keep our eyes upon the goal.
2. See the bigger picture
In everything you do in your life, remember that your main and only goal is to glorify God and enjoy Him. It says in 1 Corinthians 10:31 (ESV): “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God”.
So remember that when you are doing things, like studying for an exam, even if you don’t like it, remember that the end goal is not to pass the exam or to get a good mark. Rather, in the end, you do all those things for the glory of God. This especially applies to those doing the final exams in their last year of schooling, like the HSC. Even though it’s tough and lots of things are going on in your life right now, remember that you are doing it not only to get a good ATAR, but your main goal is to glorify God. No matter what you are studying at uni, or even your job in the future, the main goal is not to make money and get rich but to glorify God. We need to see the bigger picture, which is our sole goal - to glorify God and enjoy Him.
3. Turn your eyes upon Jesus
When life is complicated and challenging, we will have a hard time keeping our eyes on the goal with so many earthly things happening around us. We have to turn our eyes upon Jesus so we can focus on the sole main goal and not get caught up in these worldly things. It’s like the hymn by Helen Lemmel,
Verse 1: O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!
Reff: Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
Verse 2: Thro' death into life everlasting,
He passed, and we follow Him there;
O’er us sin no more hath dominion–
For more than conqu’rors we are!
Verse 3: His Word shall not fail you--He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well:
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!
This hymn was inspired by the life of Lilias Trotter, who was a missionary. Its lyrics are based on the poem she wrote. This reminds us to see Christ when life is dark, and it feels like there is no way out. We so easily get lost in the details that we forget the bigger picture. To remember the bigger picture, we must always turn our eyes upon Jesus, read the Bible, and keep growing in a relationship with Him. As things in our lives are changing, people around us are changing, and the situation is constantly changing, remember that God is never changing. "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever" (Hebrews 13:8).
He will never change and therefore, we should seek safety in Him. For people change, but He never changes. That is why our goal is not to make someone happy, to get closer to someone, or anything related of this world, because this world keeps changing, while God never changes.
Remember that this life is hard; it is tough. We won't have the strength to keep our eyes on the goal; we will get caught up in details if we use our strength. That is why we have to ask God to help us and have mercy on us, so that in the end, we will fulfil that sole goal, and we can go through this life by turning our eyes upon Jesus. Always remember the sole goal and 'trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding', (Proverbs 3:5-6) so that in the end we may glorify God in whatever we do.