Funny the difference a year can make. Helen asked me (Michael) to write a blog post. The easiest thing would have been to pass on some musical gem that was currently blessing my life, but instead I thought I might offer a little reflection. I mostly want to reflect on a big part of my life in the last 5+ years: transition. This time last year, I was coming through a large transition. This time included crisscrossing North America, moving from the United States back to Canada, selling off much of what was left of our material possessions in Ontario, and finally settling into our new home here in Alberta. Looking at the description of that season, I realize now that last year’s move was a much bigger transition than I considered it to be at the time. When I look at the effects of it on my past year, however, it does help me realize why I feel a different level of excitement at the prospect of our next School of Biblical Studies (SBS), which starts in a little over a week.
The last week here in Turner Valley has been staffing training for both new and returning SBS staff. One of the exercises in staff training was to take an inventory of our personality traits and learning styles, which included taking stock of the multiple intelligences. These range from musical (my strongest) to linguistic to interpersonal. The thought behind doing this in staff training is to identify the teaching style we will gravitate towards, so that we can endeavour to include others with different intelligences as we teach. One of my weakest intelligences is the intrapersonal intelligence. Intrapersonal intelligence is our ability to know ourselves. I say this as a disclaimer; I am not the greatest at introspection. That said, I want to return to the effect transition has had on my life in the last few years.
I see now as I come upon the first time in a while where I won’t be moving or changing jobs, that the change in my life has brought both good and bad things. Not every change has been great but not all have been terrible either. They all have required transformation in me, however, and that is why as I look ahead to this new school year, I am not only excited to meet all the new students that will arrive shortly, but I am also excited to have the time to grow in intrapersonal intelligence, and better get to know the man who has been shaped by the many people and places he has encountered over the last few years. My hope is that I’ll like him.
Even though some things will be familiar about the next year (same place and same work) even before writing this I have seen that new challenges await me. It’s interesting to see the work of God in my life just in the “everydayness” of it. The Bible promises that challenges will never be more than I am able to handle. It does not always feel that way, but particularly in hindsight, it becomes evident that with the presence of the Holy Spirit, there has been the grace to overcome.
As usual, I am unsure why I am sharing this with those of you who follow this blog, but my hope is that it will maybe encourage someone. I know it is always of benefit for me, but I put this out there for all to see, and pray that God does more with it than just opening my own heart a little.