Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor. (Proverbs 21:21 NIV)
Begin with the End in Mind means to begin each day, task, or project with a clear vision of your desired direction and destination, and then continue by flexing your proactive muscles to make things happen. – Stephen Covey here.
This proverb, and the quote from Stephen Covey, reinforce one of the main concepts from the book You Are What You Love. Our desires and habits are taking us somewhere. If we’re not intentionally heading somewhere we may end up in the wrong place. Stephen Covey has popularized the concept and his company has a good business training people how to do this.
The amazing thing is how many things we do unconsciously, not consciously or proactively. My wife is a very good driver. She is such a good driver that sometimes she is not conscious of what she is doing or where she is going. If we leave our court and I begin talking to her to distract her conscious mind I can almost guarantee that she will make a left turn out of our court and then a right turn to head toward the south. This is not an issue if our desired destination is south, but what if it is west? We wouldn’t be in danger, as her conscious mind quickly takes over if something jumps into our path. We would take longer to get to our destination as we would have to consciously recompute our route.
Heading the wrong direction can be a nuisance, but what if we think our desire is righteousness and most of our unconscious habits are taking us toward unrighteousness? To change our direction, we would have to consciously change what we do, so that we develop different habits. The reason we do this is so that even when we are not conscious of where we are going we are still going in the right direction.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God– this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is– his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:1-2 NIV)
We tend to focus on the thinking part of this verse, but the verse begins with a very intentional action. It begins with surrender and submission. This is worship. As true worshippers we are then prepared to begin thinking a different way. The thinking follows the doing and the two together lead us toward God.
For my grandchildren:
Practice doing good things that lead you toward God.