Years ago, one of my students rushed into the classroom bubbling over with news about his parents’ reward for good grades at the end of the term—a trip to Disneyland! This dangling reward gave him motivation to get all assignments turned in for a week, but by the second week he had slipped back into former lazy habits. I have a similar problem with spiritual goals. First of all, the goal needs to be genuinely mine and not someone else’s. I have to want it passionately. And it has to be reinforced frequently to keep me focused through life’s distractions and temptations. My ultimate, long-term goal is to acquire the attributes of Christ. But with that ambitious goal, a one-time spiritual surge or epiphany isn’t enough to keep me going day after day. I need daily, hourly, even minute-by-minute encouragement to keep on track. That is why the Lord blesses us at baptism with the Gift of the Holy Ghost as a constant companion—to prompt, redirect, and encourage. Another significant help is partaking of the sacrament each week to refresh the promises I made at baptism and the Lord’s promises to me in return. I need that weekly renewal. When I wake each morning, I talk to God in prayer asking for His help and guidance. At night I report my day to Him and listen for redirection. With God’s help I can enjoy little victories along the way toward my long-term goal. “With God all things are possible” (Mark 10: 27). What a great REASON TO REJOICE!
- What keeps you motivated toward your prime goal in life?