Finishing the Journey…these words mean so many different things to so many different people. For some, the journey has been short and for others it has been long. Some have had ups and downs. The journey might have had moments of enjoyment or moments that we would rather forget. Finishing the journey though can be one of the most rewarding and growing experiences for each of us.
For me one of the journeys I have been on for the last three years was working on my Masters Degree in Bible and Theology from Lincoln Christian University. This was a process that I started back in January 2015 and I finally completed this December. The journey was long, frustrating, rewarding, and enjoyable all at the same time. Through all of it I learned a few things that I think can help anyone on whatever journey they are on in their lives.
The first thing is to enjoy the process. You might be thinking "Well Brooks, that is easier then it sounds." What I learned through all of those classes that was that people can be frustrating and amazing at the same time. There were times I wanted to scream at people in my classes and maybe even a few professors, but I realized that in each situation there was something I could learn from it. I could learn from the good and the bad of any situation. I started to focus on allowing myself to enjoy the journey. There were many ups and downs, but in the end each of the people that were a part of the journey, made it what it was. When I started on my Masters Degree I didn’t expect FCC to go through the transitions it did, but it was all a part of the journey. When I started my degree I didn’t expect to have deal with loss and frustrations that came in my personal life, but it was all a part of the journey. Each of those moments allowed me to grow and made the journey what it was.
The second thing I learned was to never go on the journey alone. No that did not mean I made someone take the classes with me, but I had some very special people that were along with me on the journey. The staff at FCC were some of the most supportive, helpful, and understanding through it all. They listened, helped, gave advise, proof read a lot of pages (Thanks Christina), and encouraged through it all. I will forever be thankful for what they did, but they weren’t the only ones. I could name so many others such as friends and family who were there through it all. On our journey we need people to help us, but also challenge us. Throughout the different classes, there were professors and other students who challenged the way I thought. They caused me to dig deeper and understand things at a whole different kind of level. On your journey understand that you can learn something for everyone on your journey. What you learn might not always be what you should do, but even if it is what you shouldn’t do, learn from it and apply it.
The third thing I learned was something that came back alive from something I was taught back at FHSU. One of the lessons we were taught in the Leadership Department at FHSU was to never stop learning or you will stop growing. This journey I was on was long, but it showed me that I still have so much to learn and I will never stop growing. In our lives we will be on many journeys, but just because a journey may come to an end, it doesn’t mean it is time to stop. We all need to continue to grow and we do that by continuing to learn. That doesn’t mean you have to start another degree, it may be something simple like picking up a book. It might mean listening to some podcasts. It might mean going to a conference. It might mean talking with someone and learning from their experiences. For me this next year since I am done with school, I am going to continue to grow by reading 52 books in 2018. One journey might have finished, but continuing to grow never does.
What journey are you on in your life? I encourage you to enjoy the process, not go at it alone, and to continue to learn. I am so thankful for my time at LCU and want to thank everyone from our staff, our elders, church family, friends, and my family for the support during this three year journey. I am forever grateful.