Carefully Designed by You

 Your life doesn’t just “happen.” Whether you know it or not, it is carefully designed by you.

Sound good? It is a sample of the life-transforming insights you can gain from Stephen R. Covey. His website introduction gives an idea of how amazing his books are:

“Recognized as one of Time magazine’s 25 most influential Americans, Stephen R. Covey has dedicated his life to demonstrating how every person can truly control their destiny with profound, yet straightforward guidance.”

This straightforward guidance is in the form of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (#1 Most Influential Business Book of the Twentieth Century). Among the “spin-offs” of this book are:

Each of the seven habits is introduced on this page.

The first of the 7 habits is “Be Proactive.” Does that sound familiar? If so, it may be because you just read about it in Wednesday’s post “Back on Track.”

By the way, I used The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Stephen Covey’s son, Sean, with my junior high students. It is one the books I have bought in quantity to give away to the important young people in my life. I have loaned it to adults because it gives the condensed version of the 7 habits—and is highly entertaining. I love it! I can’t imagine anyone not enjoying this book—and learning something whether they intended to or not. Yeah . . . it’s that kind of book.



And the Answer Is . . .

If you guessed that the “Middle Eastern farm boy” was an Israelite shepherd boy; that this boy became King Saul’s armor bearer (“the commanding officer’s aide”); that—after King Saul died in battle—this young man became the king of Israel . . . then you know that this mystery person is


the most influential and revered king of Israel—and the most illustrious ancestor of Christ.

How did this all happen? I mean, so many obstacles stood in the way of his destiny. It took God’s supernatural intervention time after time to position David as ruler of Israel and to keep him there.

God’s first (very touching) action was sending the prophet Samuel to locate this young “nobody” and secretly anoint him as the future king of Israel. This was complicated by the fact that David was out tending the family’s sheep and his father didn’t bother to call for him. He only presented his seven oldest sons to the prophet. But God “found” David anyway. 

“People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).

Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass (Psalm 37:5).

There’s a dramatic song about this incident. As you listen to it, you can imagine it’s about you. Believe that God knows you. He sees you differently than others do. He knows where you are and how to get you where you need to be.




On-the-Job Training When You Don’t Have a Job

Okay, so I’m not really talking about a job. I’m talking about your life. Do you feel you don’t really have a life, yet . . .  that there’s a lot more to life than this . . . that you can see a whole lot more in your future, but there is no way to get there from here? Not yet, at least.  What are you doing with the life you do have right now? Biblical characters Joseph and David had an awesome take on that.


After dreaming about his great destiny, Joseph was dumped into a pit, sold to merchants bound for Egypt, employed as slave of a government official, and thrown into prison. Each time, he—figuratively—landed on his feet. He was so capable and trustworthy that his master, Potipher, soon put all his business in Joseph’s hands. In prison, likewise, he was placed in charge of all the other prisoners.


As a youth, David was secretly anointed by the prophet Samuel to be the next king of Israel. It was not long before he became famous as a giant-killer and military leader. However, mentally-unbalanced King Saul’s jealousy caused David to spend many months as a fugitive. About four hundred distressed, debt-ridden, and discontented men—with family members—joined him. Motivated by David’s courage, integrity, faith, and friendship, this crew became a disciplined, well-trained, and loyal unit.

What if Joseph had sullenly done only what was necessary for Potipher and for his warden? He would not have honed the administrative skills needed for his destined position.

What if David had spent his time in the wilderness sulking and waiting? He would not have developed faith, godly character, leadership skills, and the solid core of followers who were to make up his future government.


Making It Personal

  • Is the path to your dream blocked? Behave like a person of destiny, anyway. When you get to where you want to go, you’ll already be trained.
  • Could your current situations be stepping-stones to your destiny?