Sunday, January 8, 2017

Devotion 1.9.17

I had decided to work on my master's degree shortly after my first year of teaching.  The University of Houston had a policy about not admitting a candidate into the Ed Leadership Program until they had three years of experience.  However, I knew that several candidates got in during our first year of teaching, so I knew that practice set precedent over rule.  That said, I applied and got in.  I talked a guy into going into the program with me that I had gotten to know as well, so we embarked on the path to obtain our degrees together.

That did several things.  First, it gave us a ride share plan.  I didn't have to drive the 30 mile round trip by myself each time and didn't have to bear the costs of such.  In addition, I could chat with someone who wasn't very boring (probably the smartest man I've ever known in fact, so I could learn from him as we traveled).  In addition, we could compare notes, study together, and get information in the event one of us had to miss.  The other contributing factor was essential to the path to getting a degree - we held each other accountable.  When summer came and I didn't want to really go because other people I knew where going to the beach, fishing, hanging at the apartment pool late on those hot Houston summer nights, and other things that drew my attention away from the path I had set for myself, John would say, "Come on, we need to register and start classes."

Why do resolutions, plans and goals fail?  We don't hold ourselves accountable.  So, almost all people who are enlightened on the subject tell you to find an accountability partner.  We see it in groups designed to help people in need, such as AA and Weight Watchers, and we see it in other areas like running, career development, and working in our families - husband and wife.  "David, it's your turn to read to the kids," I would hear as Cindy was gently reminding me of my fatherly duties. 

Christ recognizes this important fact as well.  In Luke 10, he sends out 72 disciples in pairs.  He notes the work they are about to encounter ("...harvest is plentiful, workers are few..."), the dangers ("...sending you out like lambs among wolves..."), how to pack for the journey ("...don't take a bag or a purse or sandals..."), how to conduct themselves (" not greet on the road. When you enter a house, first say..."), and how to enter and leave cities.

Clearly traveling in pairs gives them benefits for safety and well-being, but it also serves as encourager.  So, as you plan your goals, do you consider Christ and his desires for you, and do you consider who your earthly encourager, your accountability partner will be?  Trust me, when it was a balmy 25 degrees outside and the wind was coming from the west at 40 mph, our pastor and I decided to skip the run outside and go to a gym and use a treadmill instead.  We called each other after the run to see how it went.  18 miles on a treadmill is about as exciting as watching paint dry, but because we knew we were going to check on each other, it got us to mount up and get the run in.

What's your goal?  What's Christ got in store for you or what does Christ desire for you.  Pray about it, be it health, career, spiritual, emotional, physical or a combination.  Pray that Christ be at the center of your plan, and state your goal, finding that person you trust who can hold you accountable.  If it is one that needs professional help, such as an addiction or something, find that person who can guide you and get you the help you need. 

Hope Men's Ministry

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