Where are you going?
Golfing superstar Tiger Woods was quoted as saying he ‘has nothing to look forward to’. Of course (or should that be off course?) his personal life is turbulent and ‘on course’ he has been dogged by a succession of injuries that seem to threaten his continuing to play golf at the highest level. He is someone who has earned $1.5 billion playing golf, is only 40 years old and is still highly sought after by golf tournament organizers worldwide, yet, it would appear, he doesn’t know where his life is going, has no timetable for recovery and presumably no alternative career or activity he wishes to pursue. His life is golf - and without that we must guess he sees little clear purpose or direction.
I’m sure it’s not just Tiger who feels that way. Many of us become preoccupied with the successes we hope to achieve, the pleasures we hope to enjoy and the possessions we hope to acquire. Events and experiences become our milestones; we try to build memories we hope will provide us with meaning to our later lives. Sometimes we may stop and ask the question - what’s it all about? We all have these same preoccupations - a desire to be remembered for the good we have done and to experience as much of this amazing world’s attractions as we can.
But, as a follower of Jesus, I am encouraged by Him to look beyond myself and beyond this world. He invites anyone who is ready to listen to set their minds on things above and not on earthly things. He said, ‘Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.’ (Matthew 6:19-21) He did not mean we should abandon goals, stop pursuing careers and become like hermits hiding away from the world and thinking of nothing but moving on to the next world. To do that would rob us of real purpose in living and real joy in life’s experiences.
What Jesus encourages in us is this; that our lives would be centered on Him, that our goals and our successes would be guided by His priorities. In other words that we would put Him first. Now if that sounds like abandoning self (giving up just doing what I want to do) that’s because it is. But it comes with the greatest benefit; Jesus says that if our aims - what we are looking forward to - is a fuller relationship with Him then we will always have something to look forward to. Something that cannot be threatened, lost or destroyed. And we will most certainly know where our lives are going.
Rev. Colin Morison
Elgin & Forres Free Church