In December 2014, a dear Sista of mine asked us which word will guide our actions in 2015. I didn't have to think deeply about it. The word jumped right out of my heart. As the month went on, several events occurred that enabled me to concretize the word that became my watchword for 2015. During the last week of December at our family devotion, my second son asked each of us to get ONE WORD that will define 2015 for each of us. My husband clarified this by asking us to meditate on where we believe God wants us to be by December 31st, and what we know the Holy Spirit wants to work out in our lives. He noted that this will help us to define our goals for the year.
I knew that we needed to have a vision in order to move with intensity towards achieving a goal. Without a vision to engage our attention we are likely to vacillate, dissipating precious resources. It is the target we move towards that keeps our passion stirring. So the question for me was, what does God want to accomplish through me and what He want me to accomplish for Him?
I knew without any doubt that the key goal God wants me to fix my gaze on. And it is;
The word jumped right in front of my sight and fixed itself relentlessly in my line of vision. And I knew why.
I looked through my bookshelf and my e-book reader, there were many books I started to read that I did not finish. When I did the same exercise with my beading, I found a number of pieces, I designed and started to work on, but to-date they remained uncompleted. I did not need to search further; I have a major God-ordained assignment that I have yet to complete. I did not need a handwriting on the wall to tell me that God wants all these unfinished projects completed. I knew that I had to engrave COMPLETE on the palm of my hands so that it is constantly before me.
In order for me to accomplish the goal of COMPLETE, I would need to give attention to two important attributes; these are FOCUS and CONSISTENT.
Why is it important to COMPLETE?
It is only those who finish the race that gets the prize. It is not sufficient just to start the race. Paul admonished us in 1Cor 9:24 to run with the intention of winning the race. You cannot win a race that you didn't complete. I once watched a race in which one of the athletes fell down. She didn't stay down on the ground, but she picked herself up, resumed the race, completed and won the race overtaking all the athletes who passed her while she was on the ground.
There are times when you don’t even have to win the gold prize, but the joy of completing the race and having your personal best record is sufficient.
We will not realize or achieve the purpose of an assignment if the assignment is not completed. That is why it is important that we complete every task we set our hands upon to do. The works God wants to do in me and through me cannot be achieved if I don’t complete the tasks He assigned to me.
I cannot but run each of my race to its logical conclusion. I have to press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. I have to apprehend the purpose for which Christ has apprehended me.
Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path. Don’t get sidetracked; (Proverbs 4:25-27 NLT)
“…but I focus on one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” – Philippians 3: 13b – 14.
I learned that I needed to keep my eyes focussed on the goal if I am to attain to everything that God has called me to do.
Nehemiah refused to be distracted from his assignment—the task at hand. He was engaged in rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem. It was a great and important work, Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem and the rest of his enemies called him away from the work several times, but he refused to go to them. “I am engaged in a great work, so I can’t come to you. Why should I stop working to come and meet you?” (Neh. 6:3-4).
From the above we see how we must respond to every distraction, discouragement or intimidation that seeks to take our attention away from what God has called us to do. Rather, we must work with greater determination in the face of distraction.
I need to keep my eyes fixed on the goal by staying focussed; Refusing to be sidetracked if I am going to COMPLETE my tasks and assignment in a timely fashion. This calls for discipline, determination, and commitment.
The Bible says that whatever your hand finds to do, do it well and with all your might; for there is no activity or planning or knowledge or wisdom in grave (Ecclesiastes 9:10), and do it as unto the Lord (Colossians 3:23). Doing half-measures or mediocre jobs cannot bring honor and glory to God.
“Heroes are the women and men, who each day, pursue a silent personal victory. A victory over average. A win against mediocrity. And a success above defeat.” – Robin Sharma
Since I get easily distracted by the television and I work at home, I resolved several years ago not to put the TV on during the day. But on this particular Saturday last December, my husband left the TV on as he went out, and I didn't bother to switch it off. It was on a sports channel that I felt could not distract my attention from the beading work I was doing. There were a number of championships going on. One of them caught my interest. It was the 2014 World Artistic Gymnastic Championship in Nanning, China. Oleg Vernyayev, an Ukranian male gymnast, won the gold medal.
The commentators as they discussed Oleg’s performance stated, “You can learn a lot being around World Champions.” They discussed at length one characteristic of Champions; they are consistent. This fact was repeated in several other games shown.
According to Robin Sharma, “World-class performance is less a natural gift and more a daily decision. The best just practice more.”
Consistency is achieved when ability is married long enough to hard work. It is derived from perseverance. Our intention will not get us to accomplish the task assigned to us. We have to go beyond intention and day-dream, to apply hard work with patience on our ability long enough to get the job done.
"What we often call brilliant is the fruit of long, patient and consistent hard work"
However, in fulfilling my God-ordained assignment I need the strength only God brings as I seek Him and rely on Him. We cannot depend on our ability alone. We need the grace and endurance from God to fulfill God’s call on our lives and to complete the tasks He has assigned to us.
Keeping my gaze fixed on the goal; COMPLETE, has enabled me to prioritize my activities and focus my attention on the activities that are essential to take me towards accomplishing my assignments and my dreams. It has limited my options. It has also helped me to cut my tasks into manageable chunks that I can consistently work on each day.
Dear Friends, by the grace of God in 2015, I will complete my assigned tasks. I will stay focussed on the goal. I will be consistent. What about you? What are you committing yourself to accomplish in 2015?