by Tim Hall
We’re traveling well through life. But are we going in the right direction?
Stephen Covey attempted to show the difference between “effectiveness” and “efficiency “Suppose you’re driving down the highway and you realize that you’re making excellent time, getting better gas mileage from your vehicle than ever before. You are being very efficient. But suppose you are headed in the wrong direction. Could you also say that you are effective? What good is efficiency if we’re not being effective?/1
The Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People
Each of us is a traveler in life. Most of us are doing quite well, paying our bills as we go, enjoying good relationships with family, friends and neighbors. But are we headed in the right direction? We could ask that question another way: What is our purpose in living? That’s a question that many have not asked recently; some may have never asked it.
Thomas á Kempis (1380-1471) made this observation: “A life without purpose is a languid, drifting thing. Every day we ought to review our purpose, saying to ourselves: This day let me make a sound beginning, for what we have hitherto done is naught!”
That last part might be debated; the things we have done in the past are not “naught”. God will keep what we commit to Him, according to Paul (2 Timothy 1:12). But Kempis was obviously referring to our view of things in the past. Do we feel we’ve done enough? Can we sit back and rest on our laurels? Is it time for us to once again review our purpose in life?
Jesus summed up the purpose we should be seeking in Matthew 6:33. Instead of living merely for the pursuit of food, clothing, etc., Jesus urged us to “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (NKJV). Living by God’s will is our number one purpose, Jesus taught.
Paul’s statement of our purpose for living was likewise simple: “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5). Whatever Christ valued, whatever He did, etc. should be our model for daily living. Those who take that charge seriously can focus on verses 1-4 of that passage to see how our lives should be “others-oriented.” That’s living with the mind of Christ.
It’s easy to lose perspective when we’re rushing about in our daily pursuits. But Kempis made an excellent suggestion when he said “Every day we ought to review our purpose.”
Today is an ideal time to begin that review.
1/ Stephen R. Covey, The Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People (New York: Simon and Shuster, 1989.
by Tim Hall