Re-Evaluating the Definition of Progress

Unexpected circumstances can lead to a holy pause.

We easily become creatures of habit. Our days operate according to a somewhat regular liturgy. And when seasons transition, we adjust to a new one. Typically, what they all have in common is aiming toward some measure of progress.

It manifests in different ways. For some, progress is measured by the amount of tasks completed in a given day. For others, clinching a business deal, witnessing a student achieve a prescribed benchmark, or achieving a fitness goal becomes the target. And all too often we run on a treadmill of progress with an assumption that it informs our identity.

But is it accurate?

The last few months have interrupted what we thought individually and nationally was what defined us: making progress. Certainly remaining stagnant and comfortable does not shape our character or lead us to become better versions of ourselves. But what is the end goal and who informs it?

Perhaps, this interruption can challenge us to evaluate what we identify as the end goal. How is progress manifest? In standardized test scores? Financial bottom lines? Educational degrees? Church attendance? Digital platforms? Organic relationships? Character transformation? Awareness of a world outside of ourselves?

Sometimes a holy pause is an opportunity to do just that. Stop. Listen. Evaluate. And believe that even if change happens, God still has the world in his hands. And it doesn’t depend on human defined measurements of progress.

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4 thoughts on “Re-Evaluating the Definition of Progress

  1. Carol Ann Siciliano

    Dear Stephanie — I love your words, especially “holy pause” and the opportunities to stop, listen, evaluate and try to hear what God is calling us to do. This is a good reminder for me today and every day. Your #31 FMF neighbor, Carol Ann

    Reply
  2. Cindy

    Your first line grabbed me and I will take those words with me to ponder on them. Love this, Stephanie!

    Reply
  3. Tara

    God does still have the world in his hands. Have you read the book Liturgy of the Ordinary? I think you’d enjoy it

    Reply

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