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Over the past few weeks, I’ve had some opportunities to spend some time with Year 5 and 6 students while they’ve prepared items for their class assemblies. During these times, I’ve been able to speak with them about their interests, favourite memory verses and their goals for the year.
These conversations got me thinking about goals that I remember setting when I was in school and my first couple of jobs and how I would measure success. Being completely transparent, a lot of the time I would measure my success by trying to be the best. When I used to do karate, I wouldn’t measure success by learning something new or getting a new belt but instead by how well I would perform at tournaments. In my first job as a pizza delivery driver, I wanted to be the best so I would learn all the best routes and back streets of Bathurst in order to deliver quickly and safely (these were back in the days before GPS tracking was widespread so I would have to plan my routes using a paper map and good old memorisation). Finally, as a customer service assistant at a petrol station, I would set goals and measure success by completing more jobs and checklists than any of my coworkers.
In my walk with Jesus as an adult, I have changed my perspective over time. Instead of being THE best, I wanted to be MY best and do good within the world. This has meant learning to work well with others as part of a team and building skills to encourage others to be the best they can be. Over the past several years at Parkes Christian School, I’ve particularly enjoyed teaching many wonderful groups of young students and see them grow up to become young men and women who have already achieved so much including academic goals but also using their own unique skills to enrich their lives and those of people around them. The memory verse that we have been practising as a school this past fortnight has been Mark 10:45 – For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. It is so encouraging to see so many people not just learning this verse but living it out every day in the way they support others.
A final encouragement that I got from my conversations with Year 5 and 6 was in the goals that they had chosen. While there were of course the traditional goals of getting good reports and setting personal bests in academics and sport, there were a surprising amount of students who set goals such as improving their friendships, having the best year ever and bringing their best to all situations. Have a great week everybody. Whatever your goals may be, I hope you make progress.