Goalsetting & Vision


In the year…” of Isaiah 6:1 is a designation of time by even rather than the cold numeral 758 BC.. Composed as we are, we tend to qualify the sequence of life more than the regimentation of a calendar. The year 758 BC. was a prominent year for this capable young government employee. By circumstance this year was lifted above those gone before and those which were to follow after. For all of us there are epochs which supersede our measurement of time. We life more in some weeks
than we may in other years. The amount of actual living we do at a given period supersedes a graduation of time simply lived out.

“The year” in Isaiah’s life was made distinctive by an upsetting
circumstance. “King Uzziah died.” This was a simple statement but for a time it shattered the well ordered life of the young preacher. While we shrink from such circumstances, they have a way of revealing reality. Self-sufficiency is stripped away and shadowy uncertainty produces the honest confessions that we are not so strong after all. All taste these sour waters of self truth when they stand on the threshold of a major decision in a lonely place, especially so when you finally see that no one can walk with you.

Thus the decision to move into a new field is often avoided and
postponed because of its tearing disagreeableness. But, oh, how much living one does at such a time! What clear, sharp insight he receives into the actual worth of things, and how humbling to look upon one’s stripped and naked soul! It is here that the swirl of irrelevancies grinds to a halt, time slows and we become keen in judgment. Looking back, we will later see that year thrust itself into prominence about the horizontal lay of other years. It becomes “the year.”

“The year” was made prominent by the unforgettable spiritual
experience. “I saw also the Lord.” “You are not the same man,” I
exclaimed to a preacher I had formerly been closely associated with. “No, I am not…” my friend reflected slowly and humbly. “You see, two years ago I saw the Lord as I had never seen Him before.” “That was the year I changed, ” another confided. Who doubts that we need revival? And who would question that such revival will be initiated on our knees? Pride and self-aggrandizement are seen in all their folly when
we see the Lord high and lifted up. “Woe is me!” Cried the prophet. How great if 1994 could be “the year” high-lighted brilliantly in our memory by tremendous spiritual experiences.

“The year” was peaked in significance by a life-time committal. “Here
am I, Lord, send me.” This year would never be prostrated into sameness
with other measurements of time. Like a mountain range, it casts its
shadow over the rest of his life. Men must have monumental years as
compass points for the future. If life for us is to move straight out
in surety and purpose there must be a reference point by which we
can check and gauge future actions. For Moses it was the burning bush;
for Paul, the Damascus road; for Abraham it was “the year” of Isaac’s

What will you do or be this year that will enhance the rest of your
life? Will you dare be honest when you meet your closest friend by
saying to him, “I have preached my best sermons, prayed my best
prayers, taught my best lessons, and now I am waiting only for death.”
Why don’t you say those things to yourself as you look into the mirror?
You might as well, hadn’t you? Or perhaps there is a spark, a clenched
resentment against mediocrity, a zeal for souls and a love for God
which would cause you to arise to more noble calls and claims. Home
missions needs preachers now. “Also I heard the voice of the Lord,
saying, Whom shall I send, and who shall go for us? Then said I, Here
am I; send me.” For him that was “the year.”

What will this year be for you?

By J.T. Pugh. This came from The Gospel Tidings, August 1994, page 3.

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