An image I use in almost every pastor training I lead is that of a target. I am constantly asking pastors: what are you aiming at in your life and ministry? In preaching training, for example, very few pastors can articulate exactly what they are aiming at with their preaching. Some think the target is good theology, others lots of information, and others a positive response from the congregation. We help them to always be aiming at transformation, specifically transformation in the lives of their listeners. When I was learning to golf, I often would play with a friend who was much better and experienced then me. When I would complain about where my shot landed, he would often say “well, maybe next time you should not aim there!” This always infuriated me, because in my mind I was never aiming for my ball to land in a poor position. I soon learned that aiming was not only a mentality, but also included properly positioning my body and the club. When mind, body, and club where all properly aimed at the target, the probability of hitting it went up exponentially. If we want to hit any particular target in life, its is important that EVERY aspect of our lives is truly aimed at the target.
In Matthew 19 we encounter a rich young man who desires to earn eternal life. Jesus tells him that not only does he have to follow the commandments of the Hebrew Scriptures/Old Testament, but also to sell all that he has in order to fully follow Jesus. The man was willing to take the first step, but the second one proved too difficult. This reminds me of my experiencing learning to golf. I was capable of having my mind aim at the green, but I didn’t always take all the other steps needed to properly aim at the target. Jesus’ point in this passage is less about making a financial donation, and more about ensuring that EVERY area of our life is aligned with him. Jesus desires that our target in every area of our life is the same as His target for that area of our life. This is something that we cannot just wake up and do. We have to intentionally set God as the target of our life, and nurture habits to ensure we are truly aligned with Him. We cannot assume that as long as we have “good intentions” in life that we will always hit the target. Instead, we need to constantly be asking: what am I aiming for? If I am aiming at God, then is every aspect of my life truly aimed at the target?
Today as encourage you to step back and take a look at your life, especially amidst the crazy days we are living in. Is every aspect of it truly aimed towards God? Is your marriage aimed there? Your social media accounts? Your bank account? Your time? Take the time to reflect and take aim at the target God has set for you.