Above: students displaying various love-themed artwork from February. Background music, "Undeserved Love", written and performed by Megan Wismer
Life is a journey. Anyone who has lived more than a few seconds into adulthood knows this is true. We may not know it right away as kids, but we all come to realize sooner or later that being alive means being on some kind of journey. There are highs and lows, twists and turns, and no two journeys are exactly alike, but what they all have in common is that they are indeed journeys.
While it may be easy for us to recognize that our lives as a whole are journeys, I wonder how often we recognize the smaller pieces of our lives as journeys too. For some reason, it seems to me that we tend to believe any given part of our life is supposed to reach completion or a certain destination and that if we can't get our act together in this area or that area, we have basically failed at living.
Allow me to share a personal example of this phenomenon. I do not feel like I have yet mastered the art of keeping a well-ordered, neat, organized home. In fact, I feel some solidarity with the writer Dana K. White, who produces a podcast called "A Slob Comes Clean". Essentially she considers herself someone whose brain is not wired to be naturally organized, so she candidly shares about what she calls her "deslobification process", including strategies she uses to keep her home organized.
Recently she recorded a podcast called "Better All Along the Way" and in it she challenged listeners to consider changing their mindset from focusing only on the end goal to celebrating the progress along the way. She shared how freeing and motivating it has been for her to change her goal from getting her home to the optimum ideal way it should be to just saying to herself, "I'm going to make it better".
I love this mentality so much. Like Dana explains, what this "make-it-better" approach means is that it's practically impossible to fail. No matter what state my home is in or how bad things might be, I can always do one thing that will make it better. I can start absolutely any time, anywhere, and do any little thing, no matter how small, and it counts. It may be small but it's something worth celebrating. It's a step on a journey.
But if I'm not careful, I will forget that keeping my home neat and organized is a journey, and I will start to worry that it's hopeless because I'm not there yet. If I believe I can't celebrate or relax until I achieve perfection, I will never be able to celebrate or relax. Or if I do somehow attain that goal, I might find myself disappointed that it doesn't last. As soon as I get there, I'm faced with the continuation of the journey and the need to take more steps.
Life is a journey.... and almost every component of life is a journey too. Keeping a home is a journey. Parenting is a journey. Prayer is a journey. School is a journey. So many aspects of our lives are journeys, but we treat them like they are destinations that we need to reach. We beat ourselves up for not getting there faster, or not being able to stay there longer.
What if the important thing is not necessarily reaching a certain point but rather committing to being on the journey?
We are at that time of year when the energy and shininess of most New Year's resolutions has likely faded. Maybe you've stuck with yours, and if so, that's amazing - keep up the great work! But in case you find yourself facing feelings of failure, let me encourage you to remember that your life - including any of your New Year's resolutions - is a journey, and every step counts. The steps might even matter more than the destination.
Pray with me...
... Father, help all in the ACSD community to find the strength and courage to stay on the journey
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Philippians 3:12
... God, let us encourage one another in our journeys, individually and collectively
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25
.... Lord, for all who are struggling in their journey, let them look to You and find help and deliverance
Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. Psalm 107:6
Thanks for taking the time to read this blog and pray for Alliance Christian School District! Lord willing, I plan to publish a new blog post weekly throughout the school year. Feel free to subscribe (at the bottom of this page) if you'd like to be notified each time a new blog post has been published. We also have a prayer team that is always open for new pray-ers to join. If you'd like to learn more, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
~ Carrie Warner, ACSD Prayer Team Coordinator
Soli Deo Gloria To God alone be the glory