Wandering But Not Lost

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

End of Semester Reflections

I turned in my grades today. Another semester has been completed. I think I look forward to this day as much as the students. Don't get me wrong, I love teaching. I love the interaction with the students. I love having experiences to share along with the content. I look forward to the course evaluations so that I can pick some goal to work on in the semester ahead. I love the challenge of trying to improve my teaching skills. I throw myself into the beginning of every semester, determined to not only do a better job of teaching, but of handling the administrative details of teaching as well. This is where the love affair ends. I hate grading things, I hate attendance reports, tracking Freshmen in danger of failing, filling out athlete tracking forms, and the multitude of other things that come up during a semester. It is those administrative details that burn me out. They are the reason that the end of each semester is such a relief.

After many years of this pattern, I'm starting to see this pattern lived out in other areas of my life as well. I love being a manager, or specifically, the freedom that comes from managing my department. I hate managing, specifically the administrative details that come with managing. On a slight tangent, I love my kids. They are two of the greatest kids I know and I love being their dad. I hate having to do homework, work on projects, getting them to do their chores, etc...I love being a Christian, but I hate the work of working out my relationship with God. OK...maybe hate is too strong a word, but I'll sum up the pattern I see in my life as:

I love having the title, I'm lazy at doing what comes with it.

I have to confess that is a problem in almost every area of my life. It isn't something that I say out loud too often, but it certainly jumps out at me on a daily basis. This laziness is what keeps me from experiencing God on a daily basis. It keeps me in a cycle of guilt and shame that because I see intimately the hypocrisy of my life. It robs me from an authentic, life changing journey with Christ. At times like this, I think of the verse "work out your salvation with fear and trembling." I don't believe that I'm earning my salvation. I don't believe that one can only approach God in fear and trembling, I also believe in "approaching the throne of God with boldness." However, I ackowledge that a little awe, fear, and trembling may do me some good.

What impresses me most about the people that I have met or watched in "postmodern" circumstances is that I see a lot of folks who are serious about doing the work, who are serious about doing whatever it takes to know God and to experience the growth of the Spirit in their lives. Two weeks ago, I visited a prayer service at a church I had never attended before. The service was held in a secular night club that the church uses one Sunday evening per month. I saw people journaling, praying in groups of two and three, of using the various experiential stations to connect with God. It was a wonderful evening and provided a visual tutorial of what needs to become more of a regular part of my life. I have to be willing to do some work along the way if I really want to call myself a believer. Praise God that He is faithful and desires to make himself known!



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