Summer 2024

Daily Devotional: Friday, March 8 - Pursuing Goals

“But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.” — 2 Chronicles 15:7

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Michael Stone had a dream to fly. He was a young man of extreme dedication and discipline. And his idea of flying looked like pole vaulting.

So, at the age of 14, he began a regimented training program to achieve his goal. He worked out every other day with weights, and on alternate days he ran. His father, coach and trainer monitored the program. And besides being an athlete, Michael was also an honor-roll student and helped his parents with their farm.

At the age of 17, Michael faced his greatest athletic challenge. People watched as the crossbar was set at 17 feet, which was several inches higher than Michael’s personal best. But he cleared it, and then cleared it again at 17 feet 2 inches, and again at 17 feet 4 inches.

On his final vault, Michael needed to fly 9 inches higher than he ever had. Taking deep breaths to relax, he sprinted down the runway to an effortless takeoff. He began to fly, and in the process he cleared the bar, setting a national and international Junior Olympic record. His years of practice and self-discipline in pursuit of his goal had resulted in victory.

Michael’s achievement was made even sweeter by the fact that he is blind.

Just like any of us, Michael had plenty of roadblocks and obstacles in the pursuit of his goal. He likely failed more than he succeeded. But he didn’t give up. And while it is wonderful to work toward goals in sports and life, it is even more important to ensure they are aligned with God’s will for our lives. We should work hard for His glory, not our own. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord” (Colossians 3:23). When we pursue God-given goals, we glorify Him and His Kingdom as we work toward what He’s put in front of us. It isn’t always easy, but anything worth doing is worth doing all the way.

Game plan for the week: Do you have a goal? If you do, don’t give up. Make plans to pursue it! Ask God for direction in your goals. When He’s in it, you will see His glory.

— Tom Kesting

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