I would like to think that only the goal matters, ends justifying the means. If that was the case then success would be easy. Ask a few questions and the evaluation is absolutely clear. Did I reach the goal? Am I at the desired destination? Was the mission completed? If the answer to each question and every angle is “yes” then I have own, otherwise the simple answer is that I have lost.
In many of the world’s measurement systems this is exactly what happens. The only exceptions come when it is in the interest of the person evaluating you to do something different, usually for self driven reasons. It doesn’t matter how one got there, if you did then you will win! Slow or fast is relatively unimportant; just achieve the goal within the time allotment. You can work hard or not, be a model or not, persevere or be lucky, none of it matters except getting the job done. Cheat, lie, steal can be excused if you win. Miss the mark and prepare for the worse!
In the midst of this reality God comes along and asks you and I to take a radically different approach. We are told, clearly, succinctly, and in an almost matter of fact way, that we have already won. God did the hard work, paid the price, and the prize is waiting for us. What is now important, to God, is how we achieve the prize. What processes are we using? How are we approaching each decision, every choice? What happened along the way? These are the measures that determine your choice of taking possession of the prize.
In the midst of this everything counts! Form is not important, what are you doing? God watches, willing us to win. In the end the choice rests with you and me. He shouts his encouragement.
“Up on your feet! Take a deep breath! Maybe there’s life in you yet.” (Revelation 3.2)
In the midst of the pain and hardships, sorrow and struggles, take courage, God knows and is willing to help.