This has been a time of progress for me in several areas of my life. I finished my first semester of seminary, and I’m now progressing from basic Intro courses to more difficult ones. I was recently promoted at work from a Ministry Apprentice to a Ministry Associate. I’ve been seeing some improvements in my health as a result of changes I made in the latter part of last year. And I’m getting involved with some awesome new projects that are challenging me creatively and spiritually. That seems like a great deal of progress to me, and I’m very pleased with it.
However, progress can be complicated. It can be really exciting, but it comes with responsibilities and pressures that can sometimes be intimidating. Change in any form can be scary, and even though progress is by definition a positive kind of change, that doesn’t take away the frightening edge it sometimes has. So while I’m really pleased with the progress I’m making in my life, it’s also got its downsides. Here are a few things I try to keep in mind when I’m facing progress and all that it entails.
Progress is a good thing.
As scary as change can be, progress is always good. It’s a step forward, a step in the right direction. Sometimes it’s hard to tell if you’re progressing or just changing for the sake of change, but if you’re changing for the better, that’s progress, and it’s worth it even if it is a little unnerving. I know that every step I take in school is one step closer to graduating and having to face the real world. It’s also a step towards increasingly more difficult classes. And while those things are mysterious and intimidating, they’re also wonderful. The reason I came to school was to get an education that I could use in ministry. Every step brings me a little bit closer to that. And that’s a very good thing.
You can handle it.
Progress usually comes with new responsibilities. For example, being promoted at work means that I’m expected to perform on a higher level. It just comes with the territory. But that isn’t a bad thing. What’s great about progress is that it’s a step-by-step process. You spend time working on something until you master it, and then you’re ready to take the next step. As long as the progress you’re making is in the right amount and at the right time, you don’t have anything to worry about. You can handle it. Don’t let fear of more responsibility hold you back from taking that next step.
It’s a big deal, but keep it in perspective.
Progress is something to celebrate. It’s something to be proud of. There’s nothing wrong with sharing it. But it’s also not the only thing that matters. It’s important to recognize and celebrate steps forward in our lives and in the lives of our loved ones, but we have to remember that each step is just that: a step. It’s not the end goal. It’s not the only thing that matters. And it’s not the end of the world if taking the next step takes a while. Progress is great, but it’s not the only thing that matters. We have to keep it in perspective.
Don’t get ahead of yourself.
So you’ve made some progress. You’ve taken the next step. That’s great! Enjoy it. Cherish it. Use it as an opportunity to grow and challenge yourself. But don’t get ahead of yourself. This is something I really struggle with. When I check something off my to-do list, I immediately look ahead to what’s next. It’s something I’m working on. If we’re constantly looking too far ahead to the next thing, we won’t have time to appreciate what we have right now. We won’t be able to enjoy our accomplishments because we already feel like we’re behind on the next big thing. That’s not the way it should be. So enjoy the progress you’ve made, and don’t get ahead of yourself.
That’s what I’ve been focusing on lately as I’m going through this phase of taking the next steps in my life. Hopefully something in here has been helpful to you as you’re progressing or trying to work towards progress in some area of your life. I hope you’re all doing well! Thank you for reading, and I’ll see you next week.