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Finishing Strong

"It's not this race, but how I'm running. Not who I was, who I'm become. Steady on, I'll finish strong on this path."Denise Rosier, Hallelujah Today

I listened to this song on my 6 hour drives from Phoenix to San Diego for ministerial school classes and allowed it to be my anthem. "The road is long, but I will make it. It's who I am." At times, the road felt long, indeed. The path to ministry in Centers for Spiritual Living is longer and more intense than in most denominations, with high academic hurdles and extensive practical requirements. Ostensibly, that means our new ministers come into the vocation quite prepared, which I deeply appreciate. I know I have felt that preparation and experience as I've stepped into Co-Directing New Vision Center with Rev. Karin, and it is both exciting and reassuring. That said, the last few miles are always the hardest, and I've needed those affirmations from Denise's song to power me through to the end.

In ministerial school, the seniors are often invited to share the wisdom they've gathered with the new students. It's fun to look back over the process, and I hope the newbies find it helpful. Interestingly, I've noticed that the same wisdom holds in life... So, here's what I've learned:

  • Have a plan. Start with the end goal and plan backwards, anticipating the steps you'll need to take to get where you want to go. Seeing it all mapped out is comforting and gives it all a sense of reality.

  • Be completely prepared to change the plan at any time. Life happens. This doesn't change because you are in the middle of an important project. The plan is there to serve you -- don't get caught up in serving the plan.

  • Fun and rest are really, really, really important. Schedule them in as appointments and DO NOT BREAK THEM. Seriously.

  • Good enough is good enough. Those of you who know me well are probably laughing, but even I have loosened up a great deal on this one. There are no bonus points for perfect. The amount of energy that you put into the last 5% (you know, the difference between an A and, well, still an A) could be spent snuggling your honey, taking a walk, or having a juicy meditation. All of those things serve you more deeply than perfection.

  • The brightest gem is the relationships you build along the way. I don't care what you're doing; in six years, you won't remember the details of your project. But you will remember the friends you made, the way you laughed together, the silly inside jokes, the way they held you when you cried. I've heard it said that school is just there to keep your mind distracted while your soul does the real work. I think relationships are the real work.

  • There is nothing, NOTHING, that cannot be healed in Spirit. Don't let yourself believe for one moment that there is a problem, an illness or a relationship that is beyond mending. In God, all things are possible. I've seen it. I've lived it. This is a true truth.

  • This is yours to do. If you've been called to it, it is for you. Distractions will come. Challenges will come. But miracles and healings and manifestations will come, too. The entire universe is conspiring for your Good.

Whatever you are planning, whatever is calling you forward, I am with you. I add my bright, shiny Divine YES to your adventure. I'm cheering you on. Steady on, you'll finish strong on your path. You've got this.

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