Your Hero Quest

Lesson 6

Sarah gazed around the restaurant.  She could get used to this.  The server had placed the napkin for her, gently and politely on her lap.  From their table they could overlook most of the city.  It was a clear night and the stars were putting on a show.  She took a deep breath.  The smell was of money and power.  Her glass was never empty.  She had made some girlish joke about, Estefan trying to make her drunk.  In her recent memory she did not remember laughing so much or having such a good time.  As course after course were served, she shared more and more about her life’s dreams and what she intended to accomplish professionally.  Estefan moved his chair to sit closer to her.  For just a moment she started to complain but thought better of it.  He was a good-looking man.  Delicately she rested her head on his shoulder.  Suddenly she noticed her left hand and felt self-conscious.  Though her mind was a bit cloudy from all the rich foods and the wine and the atmosphere, her hand would not lie.  She was a married woman.  Estefan looked at her hand and took it in his.  Slowly, he moved in front of her face.  Together they gazed at it in silence. 

He kissed her gently on the neck.  “Does this ring mean anything?”  Sarah was not sure how to answer it.  Her mind was swimming in emotions and excitement.  Maybe it was the wine.  She was so uncertain of how to answer.

“Through all of your stories of dreams and desires you have not mentioned a man of any kind?  Is this ring something just to keep men away?”

Eric reflected on his ultimate goal that he had written.  Who did he need to be to be the man to live that dream?  He tried to picture it.  In his heart he had already selected the girl.  What did she want in a man?  Really, he had no clue.  He assumed that she would want a strong athlete and hard worker.  All he felt that he had to offer was humor and a knack for quoting movie lines at just the right moment.  Certainly, she would want a man that would make her laugh.  As he reflected on the whole situation it dawned on him that he really did not know her at all.   What if she was mean to people or was secretly on drugs or something?  In that moment, Eric had some clarity.  First, he would construct the type of girl that could go on the mission field with him.  What skills, talents and personality traits were needed to live that sort of adventure with him?  What kind of mother did he want for his someday kids?  The epiphany became more real as he realized that while he needed her to be healthy enough to take on the rigors of missionary life, her appearance mattered little.  He also realized in that moment that he was not healthy enough for the rigors of missionary life.  He would need to make some changes as well.  He thought of the character traits a woman of God who also felt called to the mission field might appreciate.  Eric reflected on the Godly men of the Bible and started to make a list of those traits that he would need to develop.  Suddenly, his ultimate dream story took on a new life.  Excitement filled his soul.  It was not long before the notebook was full of thoughts, questions to investigate and Scripture references.  He passed most of the night fantasizing about this future life and could hardly sleep.

The smell of incense and flowers filled Julie’s apartment.  She had intended to talk to Joseph and quit the group.  But something strange was happening to her.  She stared at the lava lamp and zoned out trying to clear her mind. What was it that she really wanted?  Joseph had listened to her concerns and honestly her fears so attentively.  She had expected him to lash out at her and attack her views.  Julie had never met anyone quite like Joseph.  When she tried to steer the conversation away from rules and more importantly away from God, Joseph had delicately brought the conversation back to her ultimate dream.  How could she have her dream without a course to get there?  Would she be able to get there on her own or would she need a guide that had been there before her?  Of course, he was talking about Jesus.  Nobody had ever really referred to him as a guide but that seemed to fit in with her theology.  Deep down she liked that image.  Reluctantly she pulled out the Bible from that vacation Bible School from so long ago and started reading.

A quick stop by the office to check messages is what she had told herself.  It was after 2:00 am but it was not unusual for her to stop in during the early morning.  Though, she was there of one reason only, it was to make sure that there was no evidence of the evening she had just shared with Estefan.  Sarah was reasonably certain that nobody she knew saw her at the restaurant.  They had chosen an out of the way hotel for their triste so that seemed covered up as well.  She felt more certain that the future looked bright for her, however, she needed to bide her time.  Less than 24 hours ago she had been a faithful wife who was learning how to be a Godly woman.  Now it seemed to be unwinding.  If she could simply keep it together for a few more months than she could get the promotion.  Her mind went to the group that she had missed.  Sarah started to rehearse the lie that she would tell Joseph later that day.  One last look in the mirror and she made her way home where she could sneak into bed quietly next to her husband and he would be none the wiser.

Joseph woke up early as he usually did.  This never got easier, but he knew that he needed this time to be able to clearly hear the voice of Jesus.  His experience told him that the world was a loud place and that God liked to talk quietly.  One had to be still to hear His voice.  Sitting on the couch in front of the cold fireplace he imagined Jesus sitting on the couch with him.  “Make me useful for your service today.  Guide me as I read Your Holy Word.  Show me how to live Your Word today.  Shape my character, shape my will, make me like You.  Fill me with Your Holy Spirit that I might serve You faithfully.”  Joseph took a deep breath and listened more with his heart than with his ears.  He loved the quiet of the house at this hour.  Consciously he breathed in deeply and followed his exhalations.  After several breaths he opened his Bible and read a portion of Psalms and Proverbs and then read some other passages.  Taking his pen, he wrote the words that he was hearing.  “Life and death are in the tongue.  Truth and lies shape the future.  True life is seen clearest next to death.”  Joseph put his pen down and took another deep breath.  He wondered what that could all mean.

Samuel had slept well but still felt tired when he woke up.  Over the years he had built a series of personal rules that usually got him out of bed.  “If your alarm goes off, you will stand up and turn it off.  If you turn off your alarm you will go to your living room and read your Bible that you set out the night before.  If you read your Bible you will journal.  If you journal you will pray.”  The rules were relentless and typically pushed him out of bed and into a productive life.  But today he shut the alarm off and then crawled back under the covers.  He wasn’t sick.  Today, he just decided that it simply did not matter.  “People can be successful no matter how they live their lives.  People simply watch tv all day and never shower or leave the couch. Yet they seem to make it just fine.”  Sam could remember a lady that had gone to his church.  She moved the fridge and microwave next to her recliner so that she would not have to get up for anything except to go the bathroom.  She had once joked that if she could figure out a way to get the toilet into the living room and be as comfortable as her recliner (which she slept in) she would never get up.  She did so little with her life and felt content.  With all that he was doing he had to wonder why did he not feel content?  What was he missing?  He had no peace.  No real joy.  Just constant effort.  Just yesterday he had decided that even the lost, the odd, the strange had great purpose.  He had determined that he would not judge them nor feel hostility toward them.  But what did that mean for him?  Could he waste his life like many of them did?  He laid there in bed and tried to fall back asleep.

Mike rolled over and realized that Sarah was already in the shower.  He wondered when she had gotten home.  Quickly he jumped up and ran into the kitchen so that he could have her cup of coffee ready when she came out.  As the coffee brewed, he made the bed and left a prewritten love note on her pillow.  The guys had said he needed to woo his wife just like they were dating.  He took that to heart.  Too often he had been too tired to care when he got off work.  “Construction work was for the young,” he had often told himself.  During the small group meeting with the guys last night he was seriously thinking about going back to school so that maybe he could be a supervisor or maybe even own his own business.  Those guys were deeply inspiring him.  He had over ten years of experience.  All he needed was a chance.  More importantly though he loved Sarah.  He could not imagine even trying something risky like that without her.  Every day he would need to win her heart first, then he would start working toward a successful future.  Carefully he stirred in some of her favorite creamer and placed the cup on the table.  Mike heard the shower shut off and waited for her to arrive in the kitchen.  He was excited.  Strangely he felt like they really were dating again.

It was almost noon when Samuel finally rolled out of bed.  He had missed most of his classes.  Sitting on the couch he popped open a bag of cookies and started to eat them and thought, “This is not right.”  Setting the bag on the couch he went back to the kitchen and grabbed a tub of ice cream and a spoon.  “How can I have cookies without ice cream?”  After a short search through Netflix he found a series that he had heard a bit about and pressed play.  He was checking out for the rest of the day.  Maybe he would check out for the rest of his life.  Who would notice?  Who would care? 

Over the course of the week Eric had become a new man.  Excitement oozed out of him everywhere he went.  The clothes he was wearing were clean.  He did some research and had an interview with a doctor’s office.  It was not exactly what he had in mind for a life career, but what it did offer was an education on how the medical system worked.  His thoughts were that he might use some of that knowledge when he was on the mission field.  At the very least it would not hurt him any.  He had practiced the interview with his sister and a girl from their church.  They gave him pointers and helped him fix himself up.  Eric was surprised when they introduced him to a man at the church who knew the interviewer and gave some detailed advice that would help.  All week Eric was up early, eating healthy and living a disciplined life.  Every day he reflected on his someday family, his someday ministry and his someday home.  The very thought of it excited him.  But he knew that it would not magically happen just because he wished for it.

Mike knew that something was not quite right but could not put his finger on it.  Sarah and he had gone to church on Sunday and while she typically was very sociable and a force to be reckoned with, this week she seemed to just check the box.  Mike held every door for her, had gotten her flowers and wooed her the way they had when they were dating.  The difference now was that he was doing it all for Jesus.  It did not seem to have any effect on Sarah.  Regardless of what they were doing she would make an excuse to go to work, just to check on things.

Sarah sat in her office rewriting her ultimate dream.  She realized that her entire dream sheet was all about her career and her health.  She read it several times.  It was obvious what was missing but for some reason she just could not write in a husband, children or friends.  This ultimate picture used to make her happy, but now it seemed lonely and made her abundantly sad.  She also realized that her plans all rested on her force of personality.  There was no need to learn and grow.  Ultimately, she would be left behind.  She saw a cap even to her career.  With a snap of her earphones she went back to work on her ultimate plan.  Tonight, she would rework this and then meet with Joseph before the next gathering.  Everything in her told her she needed to get back on track.  But would that make her happy?

For four days, Samuel did not shower or shave.  He ordered in food and did not leave his house.  Over that time, he had gone through more series on Netflix than he could count.  On a trip back to the bathroom he noticed his dream sheet on his dresser.  After a quick reading and a deep sigh, he went into the bathroom.  Looking in the mirror he simply stared at the person that was there.  “Who is that guy? What am I doing?”  Completing the business that caused him to go into the bathroom in the first place he grabbed that dream sheet and began reading.  “This is NOT who I want to be.  Where have I been?”  Samuel looked at his phone and took note of the day.  He could not figure out what he had been doing.  It seemed like he had only checked out for a few hours, but days had gone by.  Samuel went back into the bathroom and brushed his teeth, shaved and showered and put on real clothes.  He felt like himself again. Grabbing his notebook and his goal sheet, Samuel went out to the park to rewrite his sheet.  This time he put down some character traits that he wanted to see the fruit of in his life.  As he worked on the sheet the sun warmed his skin and made him feel joyful.  A sense of excitement was being rekindled. 

On Saturday Julie went to the library and wrote down every rule that she liked.  The progress went slow at first.  Rules always seemed like a drudgery.  First, she can only think of how some rules worked well like traffic rules.  But then she realized that she had personal rules that she just did.  She had a rule that she did not eat meat.  There were other food rules like no onions in her potato salad and though she never thought of it as rule, she had cereal for breakfast every day.  She had rules against dating guys named Matt but really did not know why.  She never kissed on the first date and only dated guys taller than her.  Not once in her life had she turned away from a stray animal.  She had a rule against public bathrooms in gas stations. Ultimately the rules filled several pages of her notebook. 

She took the notebook to her apartment and read through it and marked those that she really felt had no lasting impact.  Others though she realized were shaping much of her life.  Most she had created for herself.  What did that mean?  Julie was a rule maker.  She laughed at the thought.  But who did these rules make her to be?  Julie chewed on her pen as she thought through what all that meant and reworked her ultimate dream.  These rules had not been deliberate, but they were part of her.  “Was that the Holy Spirit guiding her?”  Most of the rules did not have any obvious Spiritual elements but Joseph had said that all things belong to God.  Her new dream statement was very deliberate and as she reread it a smile snuck out of her.  Putting the notebook down she started to dance around.  Joy crept into her soul.

There were storm warnings on Thursday night, but they did not seem serious enough to cancel the class, so Joseph prepared the living room.  That morning he had met with Sarah and they had talked about her absence.  He didn’t know where she really had been, but he was confident that her excuse was a lie.  Since he wasn’t certain he decided not to press the issue.  Quickly he worked through the lesson on limiting beliefs.  Because they had been talking about her lack of relationships, he shared that many people make an agreement with themselves that they cannot depend on anyone.  Those that make agreements like that typically are hard driving individuals that end up alone.  “I used to be much like that.  But then one day I realized that if I kept going that way, I would be in the nursing home with no one to visit me.  The image has stuck with me when I fell myself isolating or taking on too much.”  Sarah smiled knowingly.  “You have talked about confession.  What if a confession might derail the ultimate plan?  I mean, can’t you just change directions and move on?”   “The truth will always come to light.  The real question is this.  Do you want to be in control of the timing of that?  My experience is that the truth typically comes out at the least opportune time.  A time when it might cause the most damage.  But let’s say you get away with it.  Your life will be built on sand.  Character requires confession. Character can survive the storms that are guaranteed to come.” Again, Sarah nodded thoughtfully and thanked Joseph for his time. “See you tonight.”

Now Joseph was slowly sipping some iced tea and meditating on the love of Jesus.  “How patient you are with us Lord.  Again, and again we fail you yet you never give up on us.  How is that possible?  You say that we will do greater works than you did.  How is that possible?  You forgave men who were in the process of killing you.  You love us.  Thank you.”  Joseph realized that he was crying.  “What is wrong with you? You, old fool!  This is not new information.”  Then a voice spoke.  “You must be soft and hard.  Lives are in the balance.”  A knock on the door interrupted his thoughts.

All four of the students piled in and quickly found a place to be comfortable.  Joseph had set out snacks and tea as per usual but tonight it didn’t look like anybody was too interested in them. Something seemed different.  Joseph had heard their revised mission and figured out that they finally had found purpose. 

“If you find purpose you can overcome nearly any obstacle.  When you look through history you see President Franklin Delano Roosevelt overcome polio to become president.  His raw ambition overcame what should have stopped the man.  Others overcome rough starts, difficult middles and other unexpected moments. It is good to have your destination in mind.  Just a reminder though.  Your destination may still look different than you are currently imagining it.  Life is funny that way.  God is in control of our lives and our world.  Regardless, now you know where to aim the nose of your airplane as you move forward.”

Each of them talked a bit about their successes of failures for the week.  Sarah remained mostly quiet but did throw in that her husband had suddenly become strangely romantic. 

“Sometimes when we change, we motivate others.  Sometimes our changes make others feel like failures, so they try to pull us down.  Other times, others change because they are just ready to change.  It’s hard to say.” Joseph looked over the group. 

“Now that you have a destination. You have an X on your map.  Unfortunately, our map is incomplete.”

Everyone looked at Joseph with a measure of bewilderment.

“There is a million dollars in gold at a certain location.  What do you want to know first?”

“Where is it?” stated as a question by Eric.

“Good first question.  That is what you have done with your ultimate dream.  Now what would be your second question?”

“How do I get there?”  asked Samuel

“Very good.  That is what we need to figure out next.  You may start the journey but go the entire wrong way.  Many years ago, my family and I moved across the country.  We knew the destination.  We had been there.  But the land in between? Not so much.”  We pulled out an old school paper map.  After some intensive study we picked several landmarks.”

“Why didn’t you use GPS?” asked Sarah.

“Mostly because we didn’t have that as an option at that point in history. Remember that I am ancient.  At least I did not have to depend on the stars.”  Joseph smiled, “There were large areas that even today have spotty cell phone reception.  Sometimes a paper map is the only dependable guide.  Anyway, that is all beside the point.  We picked out some markers that reminded us that we needed to turn, or we needed to stop for the night or whatever.”

Everyone nodded understanding.

“There were other signs along the way that were also a clue that we were on the right road even though they were not a part of the plan.  Some said welcome to this state or that state.  I didn’t think much of it at the time but if we would have been welcomed to a state that was not on our route we would have known to stop and redirect.”

“So, we are back to a plan?” asked Julie

“Yes, that is how we are going to get the gold.  But realize that this is not a rigid map.  There were opportunities along the way for side adventures.  We visited monuments, parks and more.  While we had an ultimate destination, it was critical that we enjoyed the journey.”

Julie looked a bit relieved.

“Your next project will be to consider what life will potentially look like as you head out on your journey to get the gold.  Create a landmark about three years out and then another six months out.  Both of those will let you know that you are on track or way off course.  It will be easier to make a course correction at six months than to get to the end of your life and realize that you are on the wrong continent.”

The whole group smiled.

“Just like the ultimate dream these need to be told as if they are really happening.  Write them as a fantasy using all five senses.  Imagine that it is really happening, and you have taken a time machine to that location and are observing the events.  Do not say things like ‘I hope to …’ or I expect to…’  These are really happening and write it as such.  Additionally, your six-month vision should be leading toward your three-year vision which in turn should be leading toward your ultimate dream.  Throw in adventure and fun.”

Samuel was drawing a sketch and Joseph noticed it.

“By the way.  This does not need to be in words only.  Pictures will serve you well in telling your story.”

All the students did some work on their visions while Joseph drank some tea and thoughtfully watched them.

After a few moments he interrupted the furious scribbling.

“You will be able to do some more writing on that later; I think you get the idea.  In your journal though I want you to take a moment again to consider the behaviors and actions that you have power over, that might prevent you from accomplishing your vision in any of these segments. You might need to consider character flaws that you are aware of, maybe sins that you have committed.” Joseph noticed their confusion

“What you are looking for are possible roadblocks, obstacles.  These might make the going more difficult. I caution you.  This part of the exercise can be discouraging.  But if your passion is strong enough there is no obstacle that cannot be bypassed or overcome.”

The class looked skeptical.

“I once worked with a woman who had been a nurse.  When I met her she was a hot mess.  She had been fired for taking medications from patients for her own use.  Her addiction had so ruled her life that her family had kicked her out of the house.  After a season of relapse and countless conversations she finally had the upper hand on this addiction.  Her heart was to get back to nursing.  However, she had a felony on her record because of the thieving and some other choices she had made in her addiction.  She told me that it was hopeless.  This was a legal barrier that in her imagination could not be overcome.  I wish I could tell you that I had received some sort of divine revelation that set her free and help her get her nursing license back.  All I told her was to investigate it.”

“That’s it?”

“That’s all that I had.  I had been a medic in the Army but really, I know nothing about how medical licensing and such works.  My friends, when you are done here some of you will go on to help others.  At least I hope so.  Understand that it would be impossible to be an expert in every field.  It takes humility to be able to tell someone that you don’t know.  Humility is a superpower that will empower you.  It would have been easy for me to tell her to just trust God and go try anyway.  What happened is that she investigated the situation.  Her own passion pushed her forward through phone calls, emails and website searches.  After several weeks of discouragement, she sat next to me with a huge smile.  It turns out that she could take a couple of classes and within a year she could be a surgical nurse.  She discovered there was a route to get her previous license reinstated but it would cost more than she wanted to invest in time and treasure.  Her smile was there because the two classes were cheaper than it would cost to get the old license reinstated and this new option potentially paid more.”

They all celebrated as if they knew the woman.

“This obstacle had taken her to a better place than if she simply gave up or followed some trite words of wisdom from a fool.”

“What about diseases or some sort of disability?”

“Nothing can stop you if you want it bad enough.  I have met one legged mountain climbers.  I challenge you to watch the para Olympics.  These men and women have incredible skills and can run faster and do things that those with all of their limbs fail to accomplish.” Joseph was silent for a moment, “Disease can be a motivator.  Your time on earth might be limited so what do you have to lose?  If I am going to die next week than I better start living right now and not waste a moment.  Just take a moment and brainstorm some of the obstacles.”

Joseph looked around.  None of the students looked directly at him.  Sarah seemed to be blushing slightly the others just looked uncomfortable as they wrote.

“Now my purpose here is not to create shame.  Shame is a powerful tool of the enemy to make us believe that we are unworthy.  But we can also use this feeling to resolve to make things right so that our sins, that will always be found out, do not derail us as we get closer to our dream.”

“Are there any negative emotions?” asked Samuel. 

“Not really.  Emotions are for our benefit.  They might be warnings.  They might be a release of tension or serve some other purpose.  Now what we do with those emotions and the roots of those emotions might be fraught with evil.  That is why we talked about the self-inventory last week.  We must take time to routinely examine our motives and make them right before God.”

After a few moments, Joseph continued.

“Now we must work on the final piece for this life plan.  This will be your three-month goals.  This is different than the vision statements in that these need to be very specific.  No statement of get healthier here.  Rather something more detailed like run a mile in eight minutes or less.” 

“I could never do that,” mentioned Eric.

“Maybe or maybe not.  I think if you trained and worked at it you might be able to do more than you think.  Past failures are not a picture of your future.”

“This goal or as I like to think of it your result also needs to be measurable.  You must know for certain if you pulled it off or not.  This could be reading twelve books.  If you read a book a week this is doable.  But the point here is that in three months you will have a list of twelve books that you have read, or you did not complete the goal.  Make sense?”

They all nodded.

“How many goals?”

“You should have three to five at most.  These need to challenge you but also meet some more requirements.  These must be attainable.  Too many people make promises to their future self that are impossible.  You might say three months from now that you will drop two hundred pounds.  That is specific and measurable.  You might be able to pull it off by cutting off a leg or something but generally there are very few healthy ways to pull that off.  Now I want to say that the physical are easiest to describe here so that is why I focus on fitness.  That is not the real target.  These goals can be any of the other areas we talked about on your ultimate vision.”

“What else is needed to make these goals good.”

“These need to be realistic.  While I want you to dream, I also don’t want you to give yourself superhuman powers.”

They all laughed.

“These also need to be time focused which I am giving you with the three-month timeline.  These results also need to be exciting.  You should read the result and imagine yourself crossing the finish line and be very excited.  Finally, these goals need to be relevant.  They need to lead toward your six month or three year or ultimate vision in some way.”

“Can you give some ideas on what spiritual goals might look like?”

“Well let me give some further insight as there are really two types of goals that you might choose to develop.  There are achievement goals.  These are things like running a 5K in less than 40 minutes.  But there are also habit goals.  This could be something like establish the habit of reading through my Bible every year or praying every day.”

“That makes sense.”

“Ok from there you will look over the goals and write out your purpose for achieving that result.  The more reasons the better.  I say that because some days you simply will not care.  You will need more than will power.  Why are you waking up early?  Why are you studying?  These purposes should be long and short term.  Finally, what are all the tasks that you might do to accomplish that result.  Do this for each of your goals.”

Joseph let them work for several minutes while he quietly sipped his tea and prayed for God to give them divine direction.  They worked diligently for about 20 minutes and then started to pack up.  The sound of wind beating against the house startled them all. 

Julie looked out the window, “Looks like we are getting wet tonight.”

They all looked a bit dejected.  Samuel seemed to be thinking.  “I needed a fresh shower anyway.”

“You can say that again,” chuckled Julie.

“I can give everybody a ride home.  If I slide off the road it might be good to have some muscle to help out,” Sarah said shaking her keys.

The troupe left together.

What they had experienced at Joseph’s was just the beginning of the storm.  They had all barely made in home in time before the real storm hit.  None of them could remember experiencing such a storm.  They were all glad for a roof over their heads and towels to dry off when they got in the door.

Samuel kept thinking about the storm. “What is my foundation in the storm.”  He had always thought that it was the church.  He did know the Sunday school answer that always seemed to fit, “Jesus.”  But what did that mean?  Samuel laid back on his bed and thought deeply.  His mind began wrestling with the thought. “What does it mean for Jesus to be the foundation of life.”  Samuel understood that Jesus could help him in church.  That seemed obvious.  Why was it that he could not even remember what the preacher talked about last Sunday?  He knew that he had a pretty solid checklist of behaviors that would put him in good standing with God.  At least he had been taught that these were good and solid behaviors that Christians should be exhibiting.   Why was it that he knew all the right answers but still felt no peace?  “Well God, what does it mean to make Jesus my rock?” 

The room seemed silent.  Samuel could hear his own breathing and little else.  He closed his eyes and tried to picture what Jesus looked like.   Though he was pretty sure he did not look like the Hollywood versions nor the paintings that the ancient artists had drawn up, that was all that he had to go on.  That was the image he used.  “Again, he asked, What does it mean to live with Jesus as my rock.”    

In his mind, Samuel began to see verses pass across his mind as if he were reading his Bible.  He seemed to be reading several passages and seeing them for the first time.  He saw crowds insulting Jesus and in several incidents coming to kill Him. Even though Jesus slipped away it was obvious that He was rejected and hated by the establishment of His time.  “Will you be rejected for my sake?  Will you be scorned and hated in my name?”

Samuel’s eyes popped open.  He looked around the room.  Nobody was there.  Once more, Samuel closed his eyes and tried to reflect on Jesus again but this time all he could see was himself in a Sunday school class.  The teacher was someone not much older than him.  He recognized the scene.  He knew what was coming.  The teacher was twisting Scripture to fit a doctrine.  Samuel saw where the lesson was going and knew that this was a false teaching.  In fact, Samuel believed that this teaching was more in line with the temptations offered by Satan to Jesus than to real truth.  Yet, he was afraid to confront this teacher because he knew that he would be shunned and unpopular for standing his ground.  Others taught different forms of oppression and justified hate in the name of Jesus.  Samuel seemed to hear several other voices as if they were a storm in themselves.  Samuel wept.

Squealing with glee, Julie twirled in the downpour.  Again, and again she spun around just letting the rain drench her and run from her nose. Her heart raced with joy.  She stood back in awe at the lightening and then braced for the thunder.  When it finally came, she decided it might be time to go inside. 

With his mind in a flutter, Eric wrote ferociously.  For hours he simply wrote the details of all his dreams.  His heart was on fire as he captured the finest details of his other fantasies.  He had different colors of pens and as his mind came up with questions, he would write them down.  The storm had passed but none of that mattered to him.  Eric was focused.  He drew pictures, he had arrows connecting assorted seemingly random thoughts.  Somehow the arrows all made it make sense.  Possessed by the inspiration he wrote and wrote until he noticed the sun was peaking beneath the curtains.  With a deep satisfaction, he closed his journal and sat back.  Though he had missed an entire night of sleep, he was more awake than ever.  Ten minutes later Eric was at the coffee shop ordering his favorite and then walking through the park.  He was living in a bit of a daze. 

When Sarah returned home her husband was watching a movie, so she sidled up next to him and had a seat on the couch.  Mike looked confused but pleased.  He couldn’t remember the last time that she simply stopped and spent time with him. With his arm around her he took a deep relaxing breath.  The past several days he had felt like something was wrong but now, maybe, it would all be ok.  Silently, under his breath Mike thanked God and kissed Sarah gently on her forehead.

Worksheet 5

Project 1: Considering your ultimate dream.  Fill out the goal setting worksheet to include your three year and six month goals.  These should be somewhere between here and your ultimate dream.  Tell the story.

Project 2:  Set two habit goals and two achievement goals that you WILL accomplish over the next three months.  This is your result.  These should stretch you but not TOO much.

Project 3:  Write out all of the reasons why this goal MUST get done over this next three months.  The more reasons the better.

Project 4:  Write out all of the actions that you will be taking to get that result.