Another year has begun and, again, I am directing a Challenge program. I have tracked my seasons which have been positive, delightful, and always different. My current Challenge II group has already met twice and this week we completed our first biology experiment. Historically, this is the approximate time when I consider the current year’s student dynamics, ponder the unique mixtures of abilities and skills, and reflect on my previous customs with students. Then I may adjust my agenda accordingly and ”experiment” to achieve goals for classic skill building, to consistently meet expectations for Classical Conversations, and to support parents with the primary focus of making community day meaningful for everyone.
This year is different. I may ruminate, but I am resolved to endeavor deeper waters, rest, and float. Rest is active and involves great trust. Floating is the challenge; it requires rest or one sinks. At first, I thought I should chiefly “experiment” on myself, keeping some ideas in the forefront of my heart, rather than classroom practices. After contemplating over the summer, I rejected this experiment. It was far too analytical and contained too many variables. I considered afresh and prayed. I should purposely experience rest to grow classically and humbly. I want to grow in order to empower, to encourage, and to enlist, not only for my benefit, but most importantly for those I serve.
By experiencing and learning, we are empowered. Learning excites; excitement creates energy. One’s investment of time and value adds to character. In these first weeks, I have noticed my students’ and parents’ abilities and hopes for the upcoming year. To engage in listening, teaching, and dialoguing authorizes meaning rather than gleaning mere facts.
By experiencing and appreciating, we are encouraged. Appreciation lends support; support fosters nurture. Nurture exudes confidence and inspires.
Finally, by experiencing and enjoying, we are enlisted. Enjoyment brings fellowship and joins hearts. From that fullness, we can recruit others to participate, as well as to volunteer to serve in new ways.
Another year has begun and I have great hope for what we will learn, appreciate, and enjoy. I am called to rest purposely and to experience growth in order to empower, to encourage, and to enlist. I am looking forward to endeavor the deeper waters with the challenge and trust it brings.