Set Beneficial, Wise Goals

An acquaintance was driving on a cross-country trip and spotted something vaguely familiar beside a barn. He stopped at the farm house to enquire about it. The farmer hadn’t thought about selling it, but gave George permission to check it out.

As George approached the car, his eyes saw a rusty, dilapidated, 1958 Buick Roadmaster. The leather seats were shredded with springs protruding, covered with animal fur and chicken feathers – in much the same condition as pictured here.. Two windows were broken with the other two down. The chrome was peeling, and all four tires were cracked like a dried up lake bed, and flat. As he managed to open the hood, the scared cat hissed and jumped off the engine, and George saw what used to be radiator hoses and electrical wiring dangling uselessly: they had long-ago deteriorated.

But in George’s mind, he saw something else.

He saw a bright, shiny, light-burgundy, 1958 Buick Roadmaster with a circled V on the front grill, and a gleaming white roof. In his mind he saw the shiny chrome all around the car with sunlight glinting off it, the electric windows working, and new soft and pliable leather seating inviting him. Ultimately, he saw himself slowly cruising through town, smiling as the men oohed and aahed over it. In George’s mind, it looked just like the one his dad owned when George was in elementary school. THIS is what he longed for.

George’s new years resolution was to make this dream come true.

George had a garage where he would do most of the work himself. He would buy the books for body, engine, and electrical work; he knew a painter in a nearby town who would paint it that beautiful light-burgundy color; and knew a man who could replace the windows.

He made the farmer an offer, and after a little negotiating the deal was done. In two days, the cat had to find a different hiding place as a truck hauled the soon-to-be-renovated-beauty to George’s garage. He was ecstatic!

That was four years ago.

How many times had his wife said, “George, when are you going to stop procrastinating.” It wasn’t a question – it was a demand. “Why did you bring it here in the first place! Will you please do something with that rusty hulk?” That last one was a plea.

What happened? Very simply, George found himself not wanting to do the work. With all the right intentions and a dream to be fulfilled, George set unrealistic goals for himself. In the vernacular, he bit off more than he could chew.

He envisioned the finished product, but he didn’t know how to go about it. He also found out that he didn’t have the desire to get out the sander and throw sparks all around the garage and smelling ozone while sanding every square inch of the rusty hulk (the title given to it by George’s wife). Every time he looked at the ghost-of-the-past, he mentally sunk lower.

Why did I ever bring it home? He wondered.

When he finally prayed about it, asking the Lord if he should start the project, or perhaps if there was something else he should do with it, an interesting idea came to him. Perhaps it was from the Lord. He made an appointment with the pastor and shared the idea with him.

“Great idea!” boomed the clergyman, and he called in the youth director.

“This could be the answer to one of my prayers.” the youth pastor said. “I’ve been looking for a project for the high school boys.”

George gave Rusty Hulk to the church as a gift, and George’s wife got her garage back. Borrowing tools from their parents, the teen-age boys had a ball removing old seats, stripping the rusty shell of everything that was possibly removable, and throwing sparks as shiny metal emerged.  

To make the story short, George wasn’t procrastinating. Desiring to fulfill a childhood dream, George attempted to do something that was not his calling. When he finally realized it, he was able to let it go.

When the church youth group was through, it wasn’t the Light-Burgundy Blazing Beauty that George imagined, but it was nice. The church sold the Roadmaster, and the substantial profit was used to set up a workshop where the youth group could do other projects. George’s gift kept on giving.

Do you find yourself procrastinating when it comes to finishing a project or reaching a goal? The solution might be to create a workable New Year’s Resolution. Pray about each project, and see if that’s what the Lord wants you to do. See if it’s something you really want to spend your time doing … or even have the skills to do. Setting goals too high might not be compatible with your God-given creativity. So, don’t do that.

May the Lord bless you as you wisely set goals this year.

Happy New Year!

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