Creating Intrepid Steps

Setting Biblical Goals for Your Vision

By Patrick G Howard

The March Focus of the Month is the third of the twelve-part series – Making 2019 Your Best Year Yet: Realizing God’s Plan for You. You can read the other parts of the series here:

• January: Do a New Thing (Isaiah 43:19) -> LINK
• February: Begin with the End in Mind (Genesis 1:1) -> LINK

In Part 2 of our series, we talked about creating a bold vision for your life. You may recall the quote from Hudson Taylor that I shared with you, “Dream a dream so big, that unless God intervenes it will fail.” Assuming that you have your grand vision in mind, it’s time to start taking steps toward realizing your bold dreams.

As an aside, you may wonder where the title – Creating Intrepid Steps comes from. Intrepid was the name of the Lunar Lander for the Apollo 12 mission.

Of course, we humans cannot go from bold dreams to reality without breaking the project into steps. We must set smaller interim goals to create plateaus from which to jump to the next bigger goal. As an example, I am reminded of one of the most audacious visions ever created in the history of mankind.

I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth.

Pres. John F. Kennedy, May 25, 1961

That may seem simple today, but you must remember that we were just learning how to crawl (figuratively) in outer space at the time. It was only a few weeks before Kennedy’s speech that Alan Shepard became the first American in space, when he piloted the Freedom 7 spacecraft on a 15-minute sub-orbital flight. Taking a trip to the Moon and back, in less than nine years, would require an effort unrivaled in the history of mankind.

Think about all of the things we had to learn how to do.

We had to learn how to build rockets that were powerful enough to take us to the Moon. Then, so we could gauge the impact of space on the human body, we had to put people into orbit, not for just a few minutes, but rather for several days. Then we had to see if they could survive outside of the spacecraft. Once we cracked that riddle, we had to find out if we could rendezvous two spacecraft in orbit. And once that milestone was accomplished, we set out on the riskiest part of the project – inserting a crew and craft into Lunar orbit, where one tiny error would doom the three astronauts of Apollo 8 to their demise in space.

All of these goals, each of them bold in their own right, led up to that one majestic moment on July 20, 1969, and those marvelous words that would that day change the world forever.

That’s one small step for a man; one giant leap for mankind.

Neal Armstrong

It was tradition for the astronauts to bring small items of a personal nature with them into space. What Buzz Aldrin brought to the moon that day was special. It wasn’t well known at the time, but the items that Buzz took were bread and wine that had been consecrated on Earth. After landing safely on the moon, he read scripture and consumed the consecrated host; and thus, completed the first Christian sacrament ever performed by a man on the moon – Holy Communion.

After hearing that, do you have any doubt that God was directing the steps of the 300,000 to 400,000 people that, for more than a decade, poured themselves into making this historical moment a reality?

We’ve come a long way to get here, but that brings me to our focus this month from the third chapter of Proverbs.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.

Proverbs 3: 5-6

Can you imagine that there were times when the people working on the moon landing were frustrated? Do you think they ever wanted to quit? While sending a person to the moon and returning them safely is a magnificent feat, there were times along the way that were gut-wrenchingly discouraging.

Most of the first rockets blew up within a few feet of the ground. The ones that did make it off the ground, often found their way far off course. After splashdown of our first successful orbital space flight, the capsule sank, nearly killing pilot Gus Grissom. He wouldn’t be so fortunate a few years later, as he and astronauts Ed White and Roger Chaffee perished when they were trapped in their Apollo 1 spacecraft when it caught fire during testing on the ground. And who can forget the ill-fated Apollo 13 flight, that despite multiple system failures returned the crew safely home.

While these were failures of an epic scale, the people of NASA never gave up. They understood that to achieve something truly great, you must work through the setbacks along the way. It is the way we learn.

It is the same for us when we create and execute our own intrepid steps.

We will experience failures and setbacks along the way. That is the way we learn. But when that happens, if we lean on our own understanding, we get frustrated and discouraged, and are more likely to give up. It is during these times that we must trust that our Lord will show us the correct path to take.

So, as we create our goals and act toward achieving them, ask God for wisdom. Ask Him if the goals you are setting are aligned with His plan for you. We won’t always understand His plan for us. Many times we do understand, but simply don’t like His plan. Regardless, we must trust that His plan is perfect.

As you are creating your intrepid steps, remember our focus from the third chapter of Proverbs; Seek God’s will in all you do, and trust that He will show you the right path to take.