April 23, 2010 | 08:26 am

Friday: Begin with the End in Mind

In The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey says that we should “begin with the end in mind.” What he means by this is obvious. Make sure the choices we make and the actions we take move us towards the end result we want. Otherwise we risk being highly active without accomplishing anything. Makes sense to me.

However, we all know that when it comes to setting goals, some of us can be myopic in what we think is achievable. The text from Revelation pushes these boundaries by looking at THE end, not just our end. It focuses on the culmination of God’s work in the world. This raises an interesting perspective: perhaps the end result for which we yearn should reach beyond our lifetime. And if this is so, then the results for which we strive can never be just about ourselves. If the only results that matter are those achievable in our lifetime, then some of the most pressing issues facing us as families, communities, and nations will never be addressed. We forget that though we may not see the final result in pursuing the larger and longer vision of what can be, we are able to help take a step in that direction. It is not an either/or situation. We must set goals that are achievable by us and for us. But if this is all we do, we will miss being a part of something much larger than ourselves. I agree with Covey, begin with THE end in mind.