What I Learned This (Past) Week

A Spiritual Discipline of Action-Reflection

Friday, January 8, 2021

I had a plan for the week, my first week as Director of the new ABHMS Center for Continuous Learning. I had come into the Leadership and Mission Building a couple times during my holiday break to complete my office move—out of the “editorial suite” and into my new digs in the Aidsand F. Wright-Riggins III Learning Center. I wanted to be fully unpacked and ready to hit the ground running when I came in on Monday this week.

I learned the hard way the truth that poet Robert Burns once confided in a woodland creature:

The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men
          Gang aft agley,
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
          For promis’d joy!

At first, it was little things, minor roadblocks to productivity. A desk that required further assembly. Computer peripherals that wouldn’t play well with my new laptop.

Then it was an onslaught of grief, dragging me under when faced with my first birthday since losing my 17-year-old son last January.

And then there was insurrection in the Capitol and rioting in the streets.

All this amid my painful awareness that I am, as author Susan Beaumont puts it, trying to lead when I don’t yet know where I’m going!

What could I learn from the frustrations and desolations of this week?

  • I learned that the affirmation and collaboration of colleagues offers me a way forward.
  • I learned that Scripture still offers me consolation and hope (Prov. 19:20-22).
  • I learned anew the peace that comes when I heed the words of the psalm: “Be still and know that I am God” (Ps. 46:10).

Oh yes, and I learned that next week lies ahead, with many more opportunities to act and reflect, teach and learn.

Interested in learning more about the CCL and this new journey in mission education? Join the new Community here on ministrElife for the Center for Continuous Learning!