The Critical Path
"Though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again."1
In his book, Peak Performers, Dr. Charles Garfield describes how the astronauts keep their spacecraft on course.
"On their flights between earth and the moon, it was said, the Apollo ships were off course much of the time. In each instance, the spacecraft would wander off its path and the crew would correct—wander off and correct, again and again. And do you now what? It didn't matter. What mattered were the results. They got to the moon. They got home. They did it by having the discipline and knowledge to get themselves back on course. They followed not a perfect path, but a critical path."
Whether we're shooting for the moon, seeking to achieve a better personal or family life, or seeking to obey and serve God, whatever our goals, the principle is the same. There are always unpredictable and unexpected events that call for change and adjustment. Although the astronauts had to be precise in their calculations, they still allowed for mistakes and corrections. The person who doesn't allow for such adjustments will probably not reach his or her goals. As Garfield, the cartoon cat, said, the critical path is the way to reach any target.
For the Christian, our goal is to obey and serve God and to go on to maturity. We will stumble at times, make mistakes, fail, and hit many a bump in the road. When we fall, however, the important thing is to get up, correct our course and go on. This is the critical path for us.
And as one author reminds us, The bumps are what we climb on!
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, every day I commit and trust my life and way to you and commit my life to serving you. Thank you that you are always with me to guide and direct my life and correct any wrong or harmful turns that I might make—to keep me on target with the goals and purpose you have for my life. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Proverbs 24:16 (NIV).