Defined Goals Result in Refined Lives

Consider an ultimate goal —- your tombstone. What do you want written on it? Candidly, I am not ambitious to have a tombstone just yet.

At Chamonix at the base of Mont Blanc there is a monument erected to an Alpine climber which reads: “He died climbing.” Figuratively, that is a worthy aspiration. 

Longfellow wrote a poem about a young man who lived a good life. The poem bore the name of the epitaph on his tombstone: “Excelsior,” meaning “higher yet.” Hopefully your ambition is similar.

The epitaph of the hypochondriac: “I’ve been telling you I was sick.”

What do you want on your tombstone?

“I’ve been busy.”

“This guy could play golf.” Or, perhaps just, “Fore!”

“She died watching TV.” Or, “This gal could shop.”

“Here lies a world class worrier.”

Bob Buford has written a book entitled Finishing Strong. Here are a few quotes from it:

“If people see their best years behind them, they’re probably not going to finish very well, because you can’t finish well when you’re going backwards.”

“As long as you are able to do something meaningful, why should you want to go into some kind of holding pattern?”

“We live pale and empty lives here on earth because we’re ignorant about what lies ahead, and we need to see that the dimensions of life are so much greater than what we can see, hear, and touch.”

“We can retire from our jobs, but not from our calling.”

A meaningful life demands movement toward something meaningful and convictions provide the direction.

Often I find meaningful quotes authored by persons with whom I have little philosophical kinship. I find it acceptable to quote such statements because the Scripture says, “if there be any virtue, think on these things.” (Phil. 4:8)

In other words, a diamond found in a pig pen is still a diamond.

A diamond from the French philosopher, Jean-Paul Sartre, is worth our attention. He said, “You will never find peace and happiness until you are ready to commit yourself to something worth dying for.” Jesus and pleasing Him is that worthy object.

What you do is important, but who you are is more important. Resolve to be a person growing “in grace and in knowledge.” Remember, as our loving Lord said to Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you.” (II Corinthians 12:9)  Regardless of your age and physical limitation hang that on the corridors of your cranium and reflect on it often.