Goals. Resolutions. It is that time of year. Then will come the week of about January 15 when we realize it’s useless…
There aren’t yearly goals I can think of in this context, though I still set them. The goal I think of right now is Christlikeness. Leading the way in that process is a gift I received from IVP: Eternal Living: Reflections on Dallas Willard’s Teaching on Faith and Formation. I will post a full review later, but along the way I cannot help but share the nuggets others have gleaned from the life of Dallas Willard. The book is a tribute given by so many who were impacted by his life and ministry.
First and foremost is Richard Foster. Foster was fresh out of seminary and came to a little Quaker church in California. Dallas Willard was the Sunday School teacher. THAT was Dallas. He wasn’t hiding out in a megachurch, or attending a megachurch so he could teach a huge Sunday School class. He was serving in a church not far from his home. He knew he could do some good there.
While I can never make spiritual goals a “yearly” goal, what Foster describes of Dallas is a lifetime goal:
Of course Dallas’s brilliance, as important as it is, is far from the whole story. He possessed in his person a spiritual formation into Christlikeness that was simply astonishing to all who were around him. Profound character formation had transpired in his body and mind and spirit until love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control were at the very center of the deep habit-structures of his life. He exhibited a substantively transformed life. Dallas was simply soaked in the presence of the living Christ.
Dallas held that out as something possible. While he would have known his own struggles far too well, those who knew him best attested to his Christlikeness.
There are lots of goals to be set. Resolutions made and broken.
But may our focus ever be this: to be like Jesus.