Dec. 17. Prompt. Lesson Learned: What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year? And how will you apply that lesson going forward?
The best thing I learned is that I’m a big procrastinator. I don’t miss deadlines but I do tend to put off many tasks till the last minute like writing my sermon from 3-midnight on a Saturday night; or waiting to create a Sunday evening youth group lesson either the week before or Sunday afternoon; or waiting too long for someone to respond to an email rather than picking up the phone; or not posting on the blog when I have an idea or experience I want to share (hence this commitment to reverb10); or putting off simple projects like backing up my computer files. (And not doing the latter is pretty ugly when your laptop crashes and you lose everything–emails, email addresses, documents, music. It’s happened twice this year!)
I’ve learned that I do much better at staying on task and bit ahead of schedule if I make a To-Do list the old fashion way–white pad and pen and a highlighter to cross things off when I complete them. I’ll definitely keep up with the To-Do list in 2011 and beyond, and I will likely try setting up iPhone and computer alerts to back up my files at least once a week.
The second best thing I learned is that I can’t do and fix and solve everything. I beat myself up for “not doing enough in youth ministry or missions in the church” or “not making a quicker impact in someone’s life” or “feeling bad” that I didn’t complete something that didn’t necessarily have to be completed right then and there. I feel guilty for not always getting what I want out of my work or day.
But through personal counseling, prayer and mental reminders, I’m beginning to learn that today’s work is sufficient for today. Even when I can’t always get what I want, I do discover (thank you Rolling Stones) that I get what I need–a moment of discernment, solitude, recreation and play, quality time with family, or a fat afternoon nap. Learning to let go, take deep breaths and see tomorrow as another day to do ministry and serve God and others is what I hope to live out in the new year.