The Unreachable Goal - The Warrior's Journey®

The Unreachable Goal

Author: Chaplain, COL Scott McChrystal, USA (Ret.)

. Photo by is licensed under CC By 2.0

“For not knowing about God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit themselves to the righteousness of God.  For Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” (Romans 10:3-4) 

Back in September of 2019 a man, who identifies himself simply as “Winter” gained fame for trying to visit every Starbucks store in the world. The 47-year-old, Plano, Texas resident was quite the fan. At the time he chalked up quite an impressive record, visiting 15,061 Starbucks. That’s why his journey had taken him to many countries around the world. When it came to loving Starbucks, this man was a “saint.” 

But there was a problem with Winter’s quest. When he began his expedition 22 years earlier, there were only 1,500 Starbucks. But by September 2019 there were 30,000! 

If you do the math you’ll see that Winter has no chance of reaching his goal. When he began he had only 1,500 Starbucks to visit. Now, after laboring for 22 years, he’s got 15,000 more to visit, and that number is a “moving target.”  If Starbucks maintains the “rate of growth” it’s manifested over the last 22 years (2,000 percent), then 22 years from now there’ll be 600,000 Starbucks. By that time Winter will be 69 years old. It seems that Winter is pursuing a goal that will forever outdistance him. 

The Bible speaks of another quest in which all of us will fail. That’s the personal pursuit to make ourselves righteous in God’s eyes. For Jesus explained, if we would be righteous in God’s eyes, we must be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect (Matthew 5:48). God Himself is the standard (Matthew 19:17). Paul warned us, too. “No one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the Law” (Romans 3:20).   

Don’t be sad, God offers His righteousness freely as a gift to all who embrace His Son Jesus by faith (Romans 3:21-26) – and with Him the free gift of eternal life (Romans 6:23). That’s right, all that we could never personally achieve in a million years of noble efforts, God gives freely through His Son, Jesus Christ.   

Don’t be like Israel who refused to submit to God’s gift of righteousness, but sought to establish their own (Romans 10:3-4). Submit to God’s verdict – that we are all sinners and cannot save ourselves. Believe in Christ’s saving work of redemption on the cross. If we embrace the crucified and risen Savior, His blood will cleanse us from every sin (1 John 1:7-10) and His righteousness will clothe us (Isaiah 61:10; Philippians 3:9). 


  • Do you hope to be righteous in God’s sight by your own power and effort? 
  • Why not take Him at His word that such a quest is impossible? 
  • God will give you His righteousness freely as a gift simply by embracing Jesus by faith and trusting in His atoning work. 

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