Set at­tain­able goals

Siloam Springs Herald Leader - - NEWS - Gene Linzey — Gene Linzey is a speaker, au­thor and men­tor. Send com­ments and ques­tions to masters. ser­[email protected] Visit his web­site at The opin­ions ex­pressed are those of the au­thor.

An ac­quain­tance was driv­ing on a cross­coun­try trip and spot­ted some­thing vaguely fa­mil­iar be­side a barn. He stopped at the farm house to in­quire about it. The farmer hadn’t thought about sell­ing it, but gave Ge­orge per­mis­sion to check it out.

As Ge­orge ap­proached the car, his eyes saw a rusty, di­lap­i­dated 1958 Buick Road­mas­ter. The leather seats were al­most shred­ded with springs pro­trud­ing and an­i­mal fur and chicken feath­ers imbed­ded; two win­dows were bro­ken with the other two down; the chrome was peel­ing, and all four tires were flat. As he man­aged to open the hood, the scared cat hissed and jumped off the en­gine, and Ge­orge saw what used to be ra­di­a­tor hoses and elec­tri­cal wiring dan­gling use­lessly: they had long-ago de­te­ri­o­rated.

But Ge­orge’s mind saw some­thing else.

He imag­ined a bright, shiny, light-bur­gundy, 1958 Buick Road­mas­ter with a cir­cled V on the front grill, and a gleam­ing white roof. In his mind he saw the shiny chrome all around the car with sun­light glint­ing off it, the elec­tric win­dows work­ing, and the soft and pli­able leather seat­ing. Ul­ti­mately, he saw him­self slowly cruis­ing through town, smil­ing as the men oohed and aa­hed over it. In His mind, it looked just like the one his dad owned when Ge­orge was in ele­men­tary school. THIS is what he longed for.

Ge­orge had a garage where he would do all the work him­self. He would buy the books for body, en­gine, and elec­tri­cal work; he knew a painter in a nearby town who would paint it that beau­ti­ful light-bur­gundy color; and knew a man who could re­place the win­dows.

He made the farmer an of­fer, and af­ter a lit­tle ne­go­ti­at­ing the deal was done. In two days, the cat had to find a dif­fer­ent hid­ing place as a truck hauled the soon-tobe-ren­o­vated-beauty to Ge­orge’s garage. He was ec­static!

That was four years ago.

How many times had his wife said, “Ge­orge, when are you go­ing to stop pro­cras­ti­nat­ing!” It wasn’t a ques­tion — it was a de­mand. “Why did you bring it here in the first place! Will you please do some­thing with that rusty hulk?” That last one was a plea.

What hap­pened? Very sim­ply, Ge­orge found him­self not want­ing to do the work. With all the right in­ten­tions and with great ex­pec­ta­tions, Ge­orge set un­re­al­is­tic goals.

Ge­orge en­vi­sioned the fin­ished prod­uct, but he re­ally didn’t know how to go about it. He also found out that he didn’t have the de­sire to get out the sander and throw sparks all around the garage while sand­ing ev­ery square inch of the rusty hulk (the ti­tle given to it by Ge­orge’s wife). Ev­ery time he looked at the ghost-of-the-past, he men­tally sunk lower.

Why did I ever bring it home? He won­dered.

When he fi­nally prayed about it, ask­ing the Lord if he should ac­tu­ally start the pro­ject or how he should use his time, an in­ter­est­ing idea came to him. Per­haps it was from the Lord. He made an ap­point­ment with the pas­tor and shared the idea with him.

“Great idea!” boomed the cler­gy­man, and he called in the youth di­rec­tor.

“This could be the an­swer to one of my prayers,” the youth pas­tor said. “I been look­ing for a pro­ject for the high school boys.”

Ge­orge gave the rusty hulk to the church as a gift, and Ge­orge’s wife got her garage back. Bor­row­ing tools from their par­ents, the teen-age boys had a ball re­mov­ing old seats, strip­ping the rusty shell of ev­ery­thing that was pos­si­bly re­mov­able, and throw­ing sparks as shiny metal emerged.

To make the story short, Ge­orge wasn’t pro­cras­ti­nat­ing. De­sir­ing to ful­fill a child­hood dream, Ge­orge at­tempted to do some­thing that was not his call­ing. When he fi­nally re­al­ized it, he was able to let it go.

When the church youth group was through, it wasn’t the blaz­ing beauty that Ge­orge imag­ined, but it was nice. The church sold the Road­mas­ter and the funds were used to set up a work­shop where the youth group could do other projects. Ge­orge’s gift kept on giv­ing.

Do you find your­self pro­cras­ti­nat­ing when it comes to fin­ish­ing a pro­ject or reach­ing a goal? Cre­ate a work­able New Year’s Res­o­lu­tion: Pray about each pro­ject, and see if that’s what the Lord wants you to do. Set­ting goals too high will ex­tin­guish your God­given creativ­ity. So, don’t do that.

May the Lord bless you as you set wise and at­tain­able goals this year.

Happy New Year!

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