A family began a vacation to a destination which would take several days of driving to reach. As they began their third day on the road, the 8-year-old daughter, weary from traveling, asked a question: "Daddy, when we get where we're going, will we be there?"
This is an important question to ask about your life. When you get where you're going, will you be where you want to be? I am asking about your goals. Where do you want to go? What do you want to do with your life? What is your desired destination? No other factor so determines the quality of your life as the goals you set for yourself.
A study of two hundred life histories of outstanding people revealed that they had ordered lives which were steered toward selected goals. Each person had something to live for. Another study of people who committed suicide indicated that they felt their lives had become intolerable because they had nothing to aim for, no goal to seek. Goals, or lack of them, were the difference.
We often talk about discovering who we are. The truth is, we do not discover who we are as much as we decide who we are, and that decision is made in the goals we set for our lives.
So how do we go about setting goals for life? We can learn some lessons from one of the most positive personalities of Hebrew history, Caleb. Two incidents are detailed in Scripture about Caleb.
The first is found in Numbers 13
. The Hebrew pilgrims -- led by God out of Egypt, through the Red Sea and across the Sinai desert -- stood at the threshold of their promised land. Twelve leaders of Israel, one from each of the twelve tribes, were chosen to scout out the land in preparation for the Hebrew invasion. Ten of the twelve reported to Moses that the land was full of giants. "There is no way," they declared, "that we can take possession of the land."
Two of the scouts, however, believed that with God on their side, no goal was beyond their grasp. "Let us go up at once and possess the land," they said, "for we are well able to do it" (Numbers 13:30
). One of these two was Joshua, who would lead the Hebrews into the promised land forty years later. The other was Caleb.
The second incident mentioned in connection with Caleb is found in Joshua 14
. Forty-five years had gone by since the other incident. The Hebrews had moved into the promised land. Caleb, 85 years old at that time, said to Joshua, "God promised that Hebron belonged to me. And now I want that mountain!"
As we study this exciting story of conquest, notice several important lessons about goal-setting which apply to our lives today.
In Line With God's Purpose
First of all, when you set goals for your life, they need to be in line with God's purpose.
When Caleb and Joshua had returned from scouting the land, Moses made this promise to Caleb: "Surely the land on which your foot has trodden shall be an inheritance to you and to your children forever."