No, I didn’t go back to school. But I am still a student.
I think it’s important that if you want to stay sharp and not become “comfortable” in your job, relationships, or other areas of life, that you always seek to find ways to improve yourself.
We easily apply this to some aspects of life already, but not everyone makes the connection into other, perhaps more critical areas. For example, I’ve yet to meet someone who was okay with their financial standing or savings. Everyone I know is seeking ways to save more or make more. I’ve never met anyone who felt they had arrived at their goal physically. Everyone I know is continually running new races, dieting, or exercising. They want to be better.
So if we are ready to make ourselves better in these areas, why limit ourselves? Jesus wants to change our life, not just pieces of it.
Here’s a few of the things I do:
Daily Reading and Prayer
There’s an old song kids used to sing in church. The lyrics simply said, “If you read your Bible, pray every day, then you’ll grow, grow, grow! Neglect your Bible forget to pray, and you’ll shrink, shrink, shrink!” As a follower of Jesus, I know I cannot find God’s will for my life each day apart from His Word and apart from Him. This one thing (which is really THE thing) will build stronger relationships in my life, and also give me wisdom in every single decision I will ever make.
Before I turned 30, I wanted to build a routine and habit of exercise. I was frustrated that I had not done so already. So, in the thirty days leading to my 30th birthday I went to the gym every single day. Now, I have built a habit of going for at least 5 days a week.
I am always learning by reading. I read leadership books, ministry books, and biographies. I can learn about people through fictional books. I read so many different kinds of books but I always decide that I want to learn something from every book I read. I don’t always know what the lesson will be, but if I know to look for it when I read, I’ll find it.
The only stupid question is the one that isn’t asked. If you don’t know, ask. Now, I think it’s important who you ask as much as what you ask. We have a great team at Journey and I enjoy asking questions to see what others are doing. I also have other kid’s pastors in the area that I meet up with and talk to. There is a coaching network I have been a part of for a few years called Infuse led by Jim Wideman. That has been a huge blessing to me and has helped me learn so much from people who are in the trenches doing the same thing I do but all over the country.
Sure we dream when we sleep but why not dream when we’re awake? It’s so important to ask God for vision in your life and dream about what it could look like. He’ll confirm what ideas are His, which ones He will give you permission to do, and which ones might need to be reserved for someone else. I think of David who had the dream to build a temple for the people of God to worship Him in. That was a good dream to have but God said it was for David’s son, Solomon, to complete.
These are a few things, but certainly not an exhaustive list.
What do you do to keep yourself as a full time student?