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Saturday, 20 April 2013

The Surprising Side of Achievement

   Have you ever saved up money for a long period of time to purchase something you wanted and then discovered that actually having it did not satisfy you as much as you thought it would?  Maybe you've worked hard to achieve a diploma, a degree or even finish a course to upgrade your skills, and after it was all said and done you were kind of let down.  Sometimes people find they even need to "recover" after a dream vacation.
   Of course, it doesn't happen all of the time.  It is a gift to be able to enjoy what we have worked for and to truly celebrate achieving a difficult goal.
   This week I was part of three events that marked a type of achievement, three days in a row.  On Wednesday night, my husband and I led the fifth and final session of a class for engaged/newly married couples.  In addition to showing a DVD which was paused at various points for the couples to privately discuss a certain aspect of their relationship, we were able to bring in couples from the congregation to interview for three of the weeks.  This was new for us, but it went very well.  When we received the feedback sheets from the four couples who participated, it was all encouraging.  But that night I felt extra tired!
   On Thursday, I took a group of 10 students to a regional "Battle of the Books" competition.  Since January we had been meeting weekly to review and learn facts and details about eight junior novels in order to compete against teams from other schools who had also read the same eight titles. The students were enthusiastic but there was some disappointment about having to sit out during some rounds, since only 6 students could play at any one time.
   Finally, thirty-two students from Grades 4 and 5 took a math contest on Friday that I had been preparing them for.  They did their best and most enjoyed the experience.  It was wonderful to hand out awards to the top scorers and see how far they had all come in terms of problem solving.
   So, after all these things were complete, I thought I would be feeling really energized.  Although I enjoyed the process as well as the end results, I am experiencing some of that "need to recover" as well.  It can be easy for me to look to the things of this world to bring me fulfillment.  When an achievement comes with a subtle let-down, it reminds me where my focus should always be--the God who loves and saves me whether I achieve or fail.

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