Begin With The End - The One Year Devotions for Women

Begin with the End

I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart.

John 14:27

You have probably heard of Stephen R. Covey’s book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Covey’s second habit for living effectively is to begin with the end in mind. What does he mean by that? Simply that there are two steps to creating anything. The first step involves envisioning exactly what it is you want to create, and the second involves making sure that your life is aligned with that vision so that every day you can do something toward achieving your goal.

To put flesh on the bones of this concept, Covey explains that before you build a house, you’ve got to know exactly what kind of home you want. Once you know that, you can have a blueprint drawn up and can develop construction plans. Before digging the first shovelful of dirt or hammering the first nail into place, you have to have a plan. After that, he says, “you put it into bricks and mortar. Each day you go to the construction shed and pull out the blueprint to get marching orders for the day. You begin with the end in mind.”a

Similarly, if you want to live a life of greater peace, you need to begin by envisioning what that life will look like. Fortunately, you needn’t develop this vision on your own because God has already provided it. He has also graciously offered a blueprint that, when followed, will lead to a life characterized by deeper levels of his peace.

Why not respond to his offer today by asking him to help you envision the rich and enduring peace he wants to give? Then use the devotions that follow as your “construction shed,” a place where you can pore over God’s blueprint and receive your marching orders for the day. As you go through the year, who knows what wonderful things may happen as you earnestly seek God’s peace?

Consider taking a few moments now to commit the months ahead to the Lord. As the months unfold, I pray you will experience him drawing near, showing you how to put the bricks and mortar of a more peaceful life into place.

Father, I want to experience your peace in deeper ways. Please open my soul to your grace, so I will miss nothing of what you want to give me.

a Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (New York: Free Press, 2004), 99.

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