Going back to school is always a challenge, but I did it. And then I had to drop a class because it was too overwhelming with other stuff going on in my life and ministry. And then I took that class, the last one actually, before I was supposed to start on the final project, a two semester adventure. And so I enrolled, got sick, and had to put the project on hold again. So my goal is completing the project and getting that degree. A lot of people dream of going back to school, and a lot of them do it, it's just that most of them do so while they're a little younger than I am. I'd like to finish this doctoral program before I'm eligible for Social Security (and there's only a year before I turn 66.)
Most of the challenges involve health, being sick, Dr's visit's, tests (and more tests) but along the way there are the challenges of being a pastor: other people's crises and emergencies don't always check with my schedule before coming crashing down in to their (and my) life.
Since I've had to take a break from school for the past two terms, it will be difficult to get started up again. After so long, some of the passion and enthusiasm has dissipated, but I know that if I'm willing to consistently spend the required time and effort, that I can make it happen.
Along the way, as I struggle to achieve my dreams, I hope to serve as an inspiration and encouragement to others. It's easy to say something along the lines of "if I can do it, so can you", but I hope to be able to actively encourage others by my example, rather than a bunch of platitudes and words that everyone has heard before.
Sometimes we have no idea how our actions will encourage and influence others. One of the movies that comes out this week (AUG 26) is GREATER. It's based on the life of Brandon Burlsworth, (I reviewed the movie HERE). Brandon's life reminds us that any dream is possible. Brandon, an unlikely candidate to make any football team, had a lifelong dream to play for a certain football team. The movie is how he overcame some pretty long odds and achieved his dream. It didn't happen in a vacuum, along the way he had some people in his corner, people who were there for him, people who mentored and encouraged him, people who kept him from giving up and pushed him to take the next step toward reaching that dream.
What I really liked about this film is that along the way, without being pushy, but rather just by being himself, he was able to share his faith, to inspire others, to encourage others, and to influence the culture of a college football team, and perhaps even the culture of the university, and y extension the college town in which Brandon's dream became reality.
You can watch the TRAILER HERE .
And by the way, once again thanks to my friends at GraceHill media, I can offer a giveaway. In the comments nominate a coach or teacher who inspired and encouraged you to go for your dream. I'll have a $25.00 Walmart gift card that one of you will be able to give to that person - a small token of you appreciation for someone who was able to help you reach your dreams.