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Summary: The key to happiness and success in the new year is to have a dream, and a goal to pursue. Without a dream or goal to motivate us we will just drift through the new year, and whatever we achieve will be a matter of chance and not design.

Vanna White, the glamorous star who turns the letter on Wheel

Of Fortune, was a leader in her church youth group at North Myrtle

Beach, North Carolina. Her pastor wrote about how he asked her,

when she was a senior, what she was going to do after graduation.

She responded that her dream was to become a model, and so she

was going to modeling school in Atlanta. This is how the pastor

reacted.

"Vanna, no!" I said. "Don't do that! Those schools will do nothing

but take your money. Nobody ever gets a job at one of those places.

You have brains! Ability! You could be more than a model!" She

thanked me politely and said, "But I have this dream of going to

Hollywood and becoming an actress."

"From North Myrtle Beach?" I asked. "Vanna, that only happens

in movies. This is crazy!"

He goes on to say, he is not surprised that her autobiography does

not mention his ministerial influence. When David Lettermen asked

Vanna about the most interesting men she has met, she mentioned

only Merv Griffin and Tom Selleck. This former pastor ends his

article by pointing out that Vanna makes more in one week on

Wheel Of Fortune than he makes in a whole year of giving good

advice to aspiring teenagers.

The whole point of this article in the Christian Ministry magazine

is to call our attention to the fact that it is not wise to try

and interfere with other people's dreams. They may not be what we

want for them, but if it is their dream, and they have made it their

priority, and their aim in life, we should support and encourage that

dream if it is consistent with the will of God.

The key to happiness and success in the new year is to have a

dream, and a goal to pursue. Without a dream or goal to motivate

us we will just drift through the new year, and whatever we achieve

will be a matter of chance and not design. God wants us to plan

ahead, and to set some goals for life, and to work toward a designed

growth. By His grace and providence we can grow and achiever

positive things, even by just drifting along without a plan, but

Scripture and history make it clear, the most successful people in the

kingdom of God are those who aim for specific goals, and focus on

them as a priority in their life.

Listen to the Apostle Paul who was a great achiever for the glory

of God. He writes to his favorite Christians in Phil. 3:13-14,

"Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But

one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and striving toward what

is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God

has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Then Paul says in the

next verse, "All of us who are mature should take such a view of

things." In other words, this is not a personal Pauline perspective of

no relevance to anyone else. It is the way all mature Christians are

to look at life.

You start with an honest recognition that you are not yet all you

ought to be. You do not have all God wants you to have. Then you

forget the failures of the past, and do not get bogged down in grief

and despair over what you can't change. You set your sights on the

goal of Christian growth, and you press on to move in the direction

of that goal. That is the plan for mature Christian living. A big factor

in the plan is concentration. That is the source of power for

progress. You cannot do everything in life. You have to make some

choices. This is an agonizing process in a world with more good

choices than men have ever had. But it has always been the case.

Successful people are people who concentrate on doing something

well. It might seem superficial to use Vanna White as an example,

but the fact is she is the best letter turner in the world. When she

was off the program to have her baby, they got another model to

take her place. It was so conspicuous that it takes unique poise to do

that job. Vanna is so smooth and graceful, but the substitute was

awkward, and she made it clear that even the most mundane tasks

can be done poorly or efficiently.

But let's look at a more sophisticated level of achievement. Fritz

Creisler, who became a famous director of the Philharmonic

Orchestra, began playing the violin as a boy. He was not good at all.

At 14 he toured the U. S. with moderate success, but when he

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