I wore these shoes when I graduated Basic and Advanced training in the Army. I also wore these shoes when I graduated all my military schools that required dress uniforms. I wore these shoes when I graduated from college. I am now going to wear these shoes as I graduate from Seminary.
I wanted to spend a minute to look back at and reflect on where these shoes have taken me. In God’s providence I have had a varied life. From four deployments to Iraq with 45 months of in country time to countless hours of classes, lectures, long hours of learning, God has seen fit to carry me through all of this.
I have spent very little time looking back on what all has transpired since I graduated High School and I am not going to do that here. What I do want to do is write three lessons I have learned through the grind of school.
LESSON 1. Raising kids working a job(s) and doing Graduate school is not easy. The two methods that worked for me was planning dedicated blocks of time to turn off the phone and work on just school. The second method is to continue to push through doing as much as you can when you can, eventually as you get comfortable with the syllabus and the flow of the course. Those 8-week courses are hard because once you get in the flow of assignments and get comfortable the class is over.
LESSON 2. Do not be afraid to take more time to get your degree. I took 2.5 years to complete 88 credit hours. It was a sprint. Now some of my focus in ministry has shifted and I am going back to some of my lectures, books and all these things to review and relearn what I had sprinted past. While I am glad that I learned from some of the best professors in the Christian world, in my effort to hit the finish line I neglected some possible opportunities to learn.
LESSON 3. Save all the work you did in your classes because it can be recycled and reused in blog posts, sermons, lessons. I wish I had taken all my work and made the corrections based on the feedback from my instructors and professors. Then placed them in structured files based on topics or Scriptures. Maybe, this lesson should be titled figure out a file system and stick with it.
I hope you find these lessons helpful, what lessons have you learned these last few years? What has God done in your life to grow you closer to Him?
Here is a book that I am rereading in regards to Pastoring, but also for those in school, the first chapter deals with identity. Do not let your identity be your accomplishments because that will let you down!