My sermon for this weekend is from Jeremiah 29:1-14, a letter which God gave to Jeremiah to send to the people of Jerusalem who were exiled in Babylon.
God told them to settle down and carry on the normal processes of life – because they were going to be in Babylon a long time. He encouraged them to build houses, plant gardens, and give their sons and daughters in marriage. God wanted them to increase in number and not to decrease.
When I think of this advice, I also think of the importance of big goals and dreams. God gave them a big goal, returning to Jerusalem as a people seventy years in the future.
How do you accomplish a big goal? Here are two ways which have helped me in the past and which continue to help me in the present.
First, divide the big goal into a series of small goals. For example, let’s suppose you are writing a 2000-word article. Many people think of writing this at one sitting. That certainly would be helpful, but not everyone can do that all the time.
A very effective strategy is to divide the big goal into a series of small jobs. You could make your one goal seven little ones. Over a seven day period you could complete the task in a relatively short period of time.
Second, just get started. For me, the most difficult part is getting started. When I have writer’s block, I open my computer to my blog and sit there thinking about what to write. I’m amazed at how many times just attempting to get started kick-starts my creativity.
This works in all areas of life, even in our practice of spiritual disciplines.
I want to encourage you to set big goals and begin the process of getting them accomplished.