I have reflected upon my personal growth and progress each Good Friday for many years, but I’ve only gone public since 2008.
April 12, 1974, by birthday, was a Good Friday. Since April 12 is sometimes a work day, but Good Friday isn’t, this feels like a natural time to reflect upon where I’ve been and where I’m going.
Last year I missed one goal completely, partially fulfilled several, and met one or two to my satisfaction.
For two years, I’ve set a target to learn NT Greek well enough to read the New Testament in its original language. My mom shared that when she learned Greek as an undergraduate at Roberts Wesleyan, she felt like it was a breath of fresh air. To meet this goal, I will need formal training with a qualified teacher or professor. This means waiting until I have time in my schedule to sign up for a course at a local college. Until then, I’ll table it.
Last year, I wrote that I wanted to become less selfish. This is not a target I will ever hit; I don’t think anyone can do this completely on this side of heaven. But I do feel that I’ve made some progress in this area.
I recently reapplied to serve as the math lead teacher at Willink for at least another two years, and I’ve received positive feedback. I feel satisfied with my progress in this area.
However, I did not pursue my action research goal sufficiently until a couple of weeks ago. Before then, I was too focused on publication, not on helping my students grow. Now I have a better attitude and feel ready to move forward with my research.
I am pleased with my family relationships. They continue to be a major focus of my time and energy.
This year, I am setting the goal of praying more regularly, at least twice per day.
Echo Prayer Manager is a useful tool. I have signed up for email and SMS reminders. This service serves as a gentle reminder that I need to begin and end my efforts with God’s purposes in mind, not my own goals.
It is my sense that as I pray more regularly, I will experience growth in all areas of my life.
Next year, I will review my prayer list and reflect upon my balance of priorities.
Roberts Wesleyan’s school motto is “Ora et Labora,” prayer and work. I often forget that, given my beliefs, prayer must come first.
I wonder how regular prayer and reliance upon the Holy Spirit is different than a humanistic desire to do the right thing and treat people well.
My goal ought to be pleasing God first, people second. I’m not sure how to measure how well I’m pleasing God, but just because it can’t be measured quantitatively doesn’t mean that it’s not a valuable goal.
I’ll reflect upon this idea more next Good Friday.
Since I was born on Good Friday, I use this as a day to reflect upon the previous year and consider where I’ve been and where I’m going.
In terms of meeting last year’s annual goals, I missed the Greek goal entirely, partially met the growth in faith goal, and met both school and family targets. All in all, not a bad year!
Next year, my spiritual goal with be developing a less selfish attitude.
My intellectual goal is still learning to decode and comprehend NT Greek. Let’s focus just on John, since that’s traditionally considered the easiest to understand.
My school goals are being published before age 40 and growing in my leadership.
And my family goal stays the same: staying connected with Amy, Jack and Sarah.
Thank you, Lord, for the clarity you’ve given me. Remind me to stop comparing myself to others. It is vital that I measure my progress against your standards, Lord, not the world’s. You desire mercy, not sacrifice! This means, in particular, that I need to give up my perfectionism related to teaching targets.
Serve and get better results via prayer and spiritual growth, not more intellectual and professional struggle.