This week, I heard a wonderful sermon. If you’re like me, the best sermons are those that give you immediate action items, or contain a message that you can immediately apply to your life. If you’re also like me, the sermon doesn’t have to be overly-religious and doctrine-heavy for it to touch you right in your soul.
A quick little backstory. I attended a ceremony this weekend because my uncle was installed as the pastor of a small church on Saturday. It’s been a looooong road and it was only further complicated by restrictions related to COVID. But after a multi-year process, he was selected, relocated from overseas, and installed this weekend.
So as you can imagine, it was a really joyous occasion. There were quite a few speakers, and one pastor spoke a message that I had to actually whip out my notebook and jot down notes about. It was motivating and relevant in so many ways, particularly when it comes to me and my goals. So here’s my take-away from that sermon, and how I plan to relate each point to my goals this week.
1 | Do Not Look Back
When you look back, you have to take your eyes off of your target. Taking your eyes off your target keeps you from moving forward. The best way to continue progressing towards your goals is to use the knowledge gained from your past to propel you forward, but do not dwell on what is done. Keep focused on the target you’ve set, and maintain that forward progress.
2 | Look to the East
This one hit me particularly hard. I am past my quarter-life crisis, and haven’t quite hit my mid-life crisis, but there are times I feel like life is passing me by. While I know there is *hopefully* a lot of life to live, I also know I’m no spring chicken. It can sometimes feel like setting new goals is pointless. But this sermon reiterated that no matter how many sunsets have passed, new goals and adventures await. Instead of looking to the west at sunsets past, look to the east for new horizons. No matter what age or what station you are in in life, there is work to be done, goals to be set, missions to be accomplished. It’s very important not to lose sight of that.
3 | Stretch Forward
We all do this. We all question our decisions. We question how we got here. We question if we’re doing the right thing and we worry about what we did wrong. Like a runner about to cross the finish line, it doesn’t matter how you started the race; what’s important is how you finish. Fix your eyes on where you want to go, set your sights on your goal, and stretch towards the finish line. Don’t give up. Finish the race.
Whew! When I tell you this message hit me in my soul, IT HIT ME IN MY SOUL!!! I did not really expect anything more than a few church formalities this weekend. And quite honestly, the sermon was not even for me. It was a motivation speech directed towards my uncle from a pastor mentor of his. But I could not have been more motivated and more blessed by his encouraging words. I was ready to run home and start planning! Of course I couldn’t–I still had family duties. lol. But I definitely jotted down thoughts for later.
Do you take notes during sermons? Or do you absorb the word in real time. I struggle between being present mentally during sermons or making sure I don’t forget what was said so that I can review and reflect on it later. Somehow I always wind up reaching for my notebook to take notes. Maybe one day I’ll try to keep it all in my head. These tidbits were too good to risk forgetting.