I serve with a great missions agency, one that encourages its missionaries to keep moving forward and looking to the future. Each year we submit an annual report, setting goals for the next year and reviewing accomplishments in the last year. The deadline is January 31.
Last year’s report was never completed. I had more important things to do. Jane had just been diagnosed with stage-4 colon cancer. The prognosis wasn’t good, but we were hopeful that surgery or chemotherapy or something, anything really, might work. Little did we know that less than two weeks later Jane would be singing with her Saviour.
Fast forward to January 30, 2011. There’s another annual report to send. I’m faced with “Personal goals for the past year and your evaluation of progress.” There’s a lot of blank space to fill in.
I was feeling annoyed with the process of reporting. I didn’t set any goals. What did I accomplish? That was way too much introspection for a year filled with pain, loss and difficulty.
My answer (with a triple-negative!), “not setting goals ≠ not accomplishing anything.” It’s true, but not exactly helpful on an ABWE Annual Report!
Our Regional Director is a wise man. He responded with profound words that have helped me to make sense out of the struggle of the last year. He commented that I did have a goal, but one not typical of those normally put on an ABWE Annual Report.
My goal, to learn how to live again. I think it’s going to take a while!