I've had a pretty exciting week so far--besides a good start to the semester overall, I just found out that the paper I wrote last semester on patent protection in biotechnology is going to be published, so I'm happy about that. It's no great American novel or anything, but it is exciting to be able to officially "be a published author"--something I've wanted to be for a really long time. It was pretty satisfying to pull up my goals list and check that one off!
And that started me thinking about goal-setting in general, and about how making and pursuing goals is a really big part of my life. In fact, I make goals on many different occasions--the new year, a new semester, the start of summer, my birthday, a new month, and you get the idea. And while I don't think there's anything wrong with that, and in fact it keeps me motivated and makes me want to work harder, I've started thinking that it can be possible to set goals and plan out your life so obsessively that you almost push God out of it, and that's something I want to make sure I stay away from. The biggest goal we can have is still so much smaller than God's plans for our lives! God can do more in you, through you, with you, and for you than you could EVER plan for and more than your biggest goals could EVER reflect. Your goals for your own life are miniscule compared to what the God of the universe wants to do in your life, if you'll allow Him to do so.
Whatever you do, don't fall into the trap of thinking that God's plan for you is only as big as your plan for yourself. Your most farfetched, wildest dream for your life is only a drop in the bucket compared to what God dreams for you. Don't settle for simply setting and meeting your own goals when the Lord wants to pull you out of your comfort zone, continually surprise you with His goodness and mercy, and lead you into His dynamic and divine plans for your life, which are greater than what you can dream up or set goals about. Don't be so focused on your own plan that you miss greater things for your life. Cultivate your capacity for awe--awe at how deeply you are loved, at how exciting, unexpected, and wonderful God's dreams for you truly are, at how great His thoughts about you are, and at the fact that the One who keeps the planets in orbit cares to know your name.
Everyone's talking and blogging about coming up with a "word" or phrase to define your year in 2013. I've read a lot of people's choices: abundance, joy, revival, etc. My 2013 phrase? "Awestruck wonder." Because living out God's dreams is living in a place where the amazing becomes ordinary, where heaven meets earth, where the oceans part and the mountains move--and that's something to be in awe of every day.