Recently in a book written to get folks to rethink the goals of short term medical teams I read about how we need to change our thinking from 'activity' orientated to focusing on 'long-term results.'
As I ponder this I'm finding it applies to much more than the context of the book.
Home schooling: Home schooling freed us to not just check off a list of subjects. Why keep reviewing a math concept by daily revisiting review sheets after the student clearly understands the concept? Yes, we review now and then but better to move on to new, interesting topics so that the joy of learning stays fun! The ultimate goal remains to teach our children how to continue to ask questions, learn, evaluate, learn, grow and change.
Americans tend to focus on 'projects', measurable goals being activity orientated. But what should our goals be in life...how does one measure the deepening of relationships? Not by time spent as it remains easy to invest days on a superficial level or one can quickly move to a deep, intimate topic with the right person/circumstances. The long-term result: to want to share God's love and encourage folks to pursue a deeper, more intense relationship with Him.
Which means we need to be moving ourselves to a greater relationship with our Lord...also hard to measure by activities. Without being intentional we can keep prayer, daily devotions and worship on a superficial level that really doesn't change our lives or cost us much. Keeping active or busy with 'good, Christian' projects can prevent us from sitting at His feet.
Prayer can be hard to 'measure'. An activity that all too often I'm afraid does not get the importance or priority that it should. I continue to learn more about the power of prayer but still find myself saying 'All I did was pray' with a shoulder shrug.
Keeping long-term results in mind, I know I need to pray more. Pray more intentionally. Pray more intensely. James 5:7 "Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years."
Long-term results for Christ followers translate into Kingdom goals, eternal results, heavenly treasures, God's priorities, God's timing....not always measurable or considered an 'action'. Glad I'm still a work in progress...the clay in the Master Potter's hands. He loves each of us!