During my college years I decided to drive from Austin, TX down to Mexico with a group of friends and cross the border. After a couple of days in Nuevo Laredo we started our journey back home. On the 4 hour drive up I-35 North, we made a couple of required stops at the Border Patrol traffic checkpoints. The purpose of those checkpoints? Not only did those stops serve as a physical reminder of where we were heading, but they also were intended to eliminate (or at least drastically reduce) items we should not have in our possession.
As we move through February along this journey of 2018, there is a decent amount of “road” behind us. No doubt, most of you have established goals for this year. How are you doing so far? Still reading the Bible each day? What sort of progress are you making towards reaching your health goals? Are you spending as much family time as you had planned at the start of the year?
Goals?! Most people by this point have already forgotten about the goals they set just last month. Rather than scrapping those God-given goals, setting up regular “checkpoints” will help you to remain focused on where you are supposed to be heading.
Eliminate Destructive Forces
There is still the issue of those distractions that come our way as we aim to be the people God intends for us to be. Checkpoints can serve as a a great opportunity to do housecleaning and get rid of some destructive forces that divert your attention from reaching your goals. Do you need to…
- Delete apps off of your phone that suck up hours of your time
- Give (or throw) away sweets from your kitchen (office, car, nightstand, garage of anywhere else you have been hiding them)
- Distance yourself from a person or place that seems to constantly bring you down
It is always wise to examine yourself on a regular basis. St. Paul says to “examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves.” (2 Corinthians 13:5) In my own spiritual life, this takes the form of a daily self-examination at the end of each night, as well as a regular time of meeting with my father-of-confession for a more in-depth time of examination. Why bother with all of this? I believe that life is better lived when it is purposeful rather passive and intentional instead of accidental!
As part of my commitment to stay focused and find success in reaching my personal goals and our Church goals, I have set-up daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly checkups. Depending on the checkup, I allocate the right amount of time to inspect my condition; daily check-ups are usually a 30-60 second of my goals and quarterly checkups take anywhere from 30-90 minutes.
Questions to Consider
Are you heading in the right direction?
What destructive forces do you need to eliminate from your life before you can move forward?
What regular check-ups do you need to put on the calendar?