This is part 2 in the multi-part series of articles that focuses on practical practices that can help Christians out in their walk of faith. Today we talk about goal setting and how this affects our spiritual life and some small steps to help alter them for the better.
Quotes from in this article will come from excerpts from the critically acclaimed book Atomic Habits By James Clear, an author I have am a big fan of for his writing’s on Habits and psychology. The habit I will focus on is what some may call “grandiose goal setting.” In layman terms, its to set the bar too high with your goals. Even God doesn’t work in big, fast linear fashion, but tells us that this grand and amazing final destination- His Kingdom- starts as a mustard seed( Talk about small). Often senior Pastor David said set a big goal- but break it down in small increments. We have all heard things like this from one source or another and likely agreed, but, in practice, it’s natural to go the complete opposite direction,
On one hand, it makes perfect sense to have really lofty, big goals when we think about it. We do serve the one true God- an Infinite one at that. But though it is a great thing to simply look at the God like that, and take him at his word, it would be faulty logic to simply look at certain verses, maybe even isolated out of context and think that we can do huge jobs.
So what’s an effective way to break things down into smaller, more manageable undertakings? Let us evaluate The Two- Minute Rule.
Many people who seek to upgrade their work ethic with productivity hacks( actions that help you get the most out of your work day) have testified to the power of using this trick. But what exactly is it, and why use it?
“The Two-Minute Rule states “When you start a new habit, it should take less than two minutes to do.”
You’ll find that nearly any habit can be scaled down into a two-minute version:
● “Read before bed each night” becomes “Read one page.”
● “Do thirty minutes of yoga” becomes “Take out my yoga mat.”
● “Study for class” becomes “Open my notes.”
● “Fold the laundry” becomes “Fold one pair of socks.”
● “Run three miles” becomes “Tie my running shoes.”
Why is this powerful for us in faith? For starters, the outward nature of our works as ministers isn’t much different than anyone else in this world. We still face the same natural physical limits. We still have the same cognitive demand on us as we strive to focus and cultivate plans and ideas, systems to get us to our goals( and systems are very important and will be studied in our next article). ANd finally, the two minute rules really has a domino effect.
An example for when using the two minute rule is when I started the habit of reading in as a passenger during car rides. I placed C.S Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia in the shotgun( seat next to driver) seat and made a rule that every time my wife and I drove anywhere, I would read 1 page of the book. Over the course of a week or 2 of doing this, I started to feel as if 1 page wasn’t enough. So I kept going till I was reading full chapters of the book on each ride-That book was awesome. The point is, when you start small, like the image of the mustard seed-smallest of all seeds- eventually growing- into the biggest garden plant- you end up going big.
So just imagine a big goal in your ministry, and start it small. You may want to evangelize a whole school, so start by praying for 3 spiritually hungry students who have the skills that could compliment your ministry.
You could want to start a new business as a Deacon that will revolutionize mission. Start by reading a couple of pages of a business focused book that can teach you better skills. Whatever your goal is, scale it down to a small version, and let that build up in time.
Whatever your goal is, I pray it becomes big, and it plays out like a wonderful story written by God. Amen