Looking Back Looking Forward: Part 1

It’s the beginning of the year. It’s a chance for a new start. It’s a chance for new beginnings. It’s a chance for…

Yeah, that sounded like a bad intro for a football game on ESPN or something.

Anyway, I thought it would be fun to look back at the goals I made last year for 2010 and see how they ended up and then put out some goals for 2011. This post will be looking back at the ones from last year and how I did and then I’ll post my goals for 2011 tomorrow.

So, without further ado, let’s look back:

1) Graduate – Yup, I did this one. I turned my last paper in at the beginning of May. I got my actual diploma in June. I now have a Master of Arts in Student Ministry from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. Once I get a job that pays real money I’ll probably look into getting the next degree towards my MDiv but for now that can wait.

Outcome: PASS

2) Leave Lynchburg – I did this one too. I moved to Lenoir City, Tennessee, a town I’d never heard of last January, and have loved it here. I miss Lynchburg more than I thought I would but like I wrote last year, it was time to get out. It was time to move on and experience something new. I didn’t get North Carolina like I wanted but I’ll definitely take what I got. We may not have Cook Out here but we’ve got Sam and Andy’s and that’s a more than good enough substitute.

Outcome: PASS

3) Meet new people – This one is definitely a pass. I’d say that, since writing that last January, I’ve added over 125 people on Facebook. I’ve met even more that don’t have Facebook. I’ve met some that are older, a ton that are younger, and quite a few that are at the same stage of life as me. The people here are great and have reminded me what the church really was. I’ve had so many cool experiences with the people of Two Rivers Church that I wouldn’t trade for anything.

Outcome: PASS

4) Get a job working in a church – Got it. At the time I was hoping for a full-time permanent job and hadn’t really thought of becoming an intern, but I’m not complaining with the way it turned out. I said a job in a church and that’s what I got. Being an intern doesn’t pay worth a poop but it’s the best experience I could’ve gotten and is really what I needed. I think I’ve done a good job and I’ve been reassured over and over that this is what God made me for.

Outcome: PASS

5) Go on a date – Yes, that was a goal of mine for 2010. I didn’t go on one in 2009. I went on a date, and then more, and then more, and in the process fell in love with a great girl. The way that things came together for us to get together was completely unthought of and it’s still cool to think back and look at how God restarted my relationship with Nicole. It’s even cooler to know that even though I was a jerk three years ago, she still gave me a shot and gave me a second chance. I don’t plan on messing this one up.

Outcome: PASS

6) Lead a community group – Sort of like the getting a job in the church, this one didn’t turn out like I expected it to but I’ll still take the outcome. I wrote it thinking I’d lead a group of 20-something guys. Instead, I’m helping lead a group of 14-15 year old guys and absolutely loving it. They’re not 20-something guys but they’re probably more fun than that group would’ve been anyway. I love my freshmen and would do anything for them. If one thing stands out about all of these goals it’s that things end up different than planned a lot of the time, but if God’s the one making them happen, they normally end up better than planned.

Outcome: PASS

7) Go some place that I’ve never been – I did this one more than I thought I would. I ended up getting to go to Louisville, Kentucky while working at Liberty and I’d never been there. I think it’s funny that in the paragraph describing this goal last year I wrote, “I’ve never been west of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.” Well, it just so happened that the job I ended up getting is just west of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. It’s funny how things work out like that. I was able to move to Knoxville/LC and I also got to visit an awesome camp in Elizabethton, TN. Within the next year I’ll get to visit even more places I’ve never been.

Outcome: PASS

8) Finish school with a 3.0 – I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to do this because of the hole I put myself in my first semester of grad school/seminary, but I did it. I actually did better than my goal. I finished with a 3.15. To many, like my sister who is ridiculously smart and has a 4.0, that doesn’t seem like much, but considering I was on academic warning after my first semester, I’m pretty proud of that.

Outcome: PASS

9) Go to more shows – Yeah, I’m pretty sure I didn’t go to a single show in 2010. That’s something I’ve not been very good at in a few years. Being broke doesn’t help. Oh well.

Outcome: FAIL

10) Think things through – This one was a joke because I couldn’t come up with a 10th goal. Since I actually came up with a full 11 goals this year, I’d say that I passed this one. You may disagree, but this is my blog so I’m allowed to say what I want.

Outcome: PASS (sorta)

So, if we’re keeping score, I was 9 for 10 on my goals in 2010. I’d say that’s a pretty good return. Some of them turned out different than I had hoped for or even expected but I don’t think I’m going to complain.

In the end, 2010 was a really good year for me. I hit a really, really low point in the last half of 2008 but since January 2009, I’ve really enjoyed the direction that my life has went. It’s no coincidence that I’ve enjoyed my life more in the two years where I’ve done exactly what God has asked me to do than I had in the five years before where I wasn’t doing that.

It’s amazing how much better things are now that I’m not the stuck up arrogant kid trying to fight God.

Here’s to hoping 2011 is even better than 2010.

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