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Deuteronomy 34:5-7 (The Message)

“Moses died there in the land of Moab, Moses the servant of God, just as God said. God buried him in the valley in the land of Moab opposite Beth Peor. No one knows his burial site to this very day.

Moses was 120 years old when he died. His eyesight was sharp; he still walked with a spring in his step. The People of Israel wept for Moses in the Plains of Moab thirty days. Then the days of weeping and mourning for Moses came to an end.”

I am very much a goal-oriented person.  I regularly review my long-term, short-term, quarterly, and monthly goals.  Setting goals and reviewing them frequently assist me in staying on track for the important tasks in my life.  For the most part this is a positive practice.  Sometimes, however, I can get ahead of myself.  I can begin to look at all of the tasks that I have failed to complete to date and start to feel as though I’ve gotten behind.  Whenever I am tempted to beat myself up for what I haven’t yet completed, I review the life of Moses.

By all accounts Moses started out a LOSER.  Full of himself and confidence in his abilities, he got ahead of God, murdered a guy, and ended up a fugitive at the age of 40.  Then he spent the next 40 years tending sheep for his father-in-law on the  back side of the desert.  It wasn’t until 80 years of age that he had the burning bush experience and received his commission from God – a commission, which he declined, while explaining to God that he (God) had made a wrong choice. LOSER. He spent the next 40 years attempting to serve the stiff-necked, grumbling people of Israel, and on one occasion, lost his cool so bad that God put him on time-out for life. Moses did not get to enter the promised land – ever.

By Moses’ 120th birthday, he had led a ragtag band of ex-slaves through the desert, been used to form them into a people, set up their system of government, and lead them to the doorstep of Canaan – twice.  Then he sat down and penned the entire book of Deuteronomy, y’know, for posterity. What?!  I like the Message’s translation above…”His eyesight was sharp; he still walked with a spring in his step.” That’s what I’m talkin’ about. I want to do 120 like that. Hey! I’ll settle for doing 100 like that.

So child of God, it may be true; you may be behind in your own goals. You may not be where you’d hoped you’d be at this point in your life.  But take encouragement from the fact that while Moses missed out on his one big goal – to enter the promised land – through his faith in God he was able to accomplish so much more and affect the lives of so many.  God could have used any man to lead Israel out of Egypt – but he chose flawed, fearful, stuttering Moses.  Through the process God transformed him into one of the most amazing leaders the world has ever known.  If he accomplished the birth and development of a nation, which still thrives today through one submitted man, what can he accomplish through you?

Keep your goals in proper perspective.  They are tools.  They are not your life, nor your identity.  Submit them to God, allowing him to prune them and reshape them as he pleases.  His worst plan on a bad day (if there were such a thing) is better than anything you can yet imagine. I’m not sayin’ that you’ll live to be 120 years old.  But I am sayin’ that if you ain’t dead, then there’s hope for you yet.

Be encouraged and have an excellent day!

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