I’ve never been much for New Year’s resolutions. I can’t stand the pressure. It just feels like a 365-day sentence to keep a promise you know is probably unreasonable. But that’s just me. I don’t like being set up for failure. I do however like to set Smart goals for myself. Goals that are well-defined and focused. Smart goals are clarified by the acronym S.M.A.R.T:
S – stands for specific
M – stands for measurable
A – stands for achievable
R – stands for relevant
And T – stands for time-based.
I try to do this in various areas of my life. Not just at work. I set goals for my relationships, my physical well-being, my spiritual life and my occupational life.
One of my smart goals for my role as CEO of Wichita Falls Faith Mission is what I want to share with you today. It is to listen to at least one person’s story every week. This stems from my mantra for serving the homeless which is that Every person has a story and every story matters to God. I can’t think of a better way to really minister to someone than to take the time to listen to their story. Their journey, their experiences, their heartbreaks and their victories. What are their dreams and what keeps them from accomplishing those dreams? Do they have a personal relationship with Christ? How can I pray for them? And how can I help them set their own goals and achieve them.
This emphasis on stories has defined all our programs and services to the homeless for the last 5 years. In 2020, it will be no different. We will listen to their stories and we will strive to help them write brand new chapters to those stories and hopefully help them to achieve success and victory in their lives. And by doing this, every person who walks in the doors of Faith Refuge or Faith Mission and into our care will rise above the status of client to that of neighbor.
When Jesus was asked in Luke 15 the question, “Who is my neighbor?”, His response was the well-known parable of the Good Samaritan. In it, He artfully contrasted the response of the priest and the Levite to that of the Samaritan traveler.
The late Dr. Martin Luther King shared his take on this famous story. He said that two questions were pondered that day. The priest and the Levite asked themselves, “If I stop and help this man, what will happen to me?” But the Samaritan reversed the question and asked himself, “If I don’t stop and help this man, what will happen to him?”
What are your goals for 2020? Are they all about you or do they include others? You never know what a blessing you might be to someone if you set your mind to it.
This is Steve Sparks wishing you a Happy New Year.