Completion – A Quick Note

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I recently had the blessing of helping a person finish a program that will help them improve not only their-own life, but their spouse’s as well.  It was a wonderful feeling to know that this marked a new phase of life, a new opportunity, a new era.  This may sound corny, I’m cool with that.  We all have phases in life, chapters that we use to mark the start and stop to stages.  This was one of those stages.

Think back with me.  Most of you reading will remember moments growing up, when you realized that there was going to be more expectation, more responsibility.  Even if you don’t remember, I’m sure your parents and teachers do remember.  School is based on this concept of stages.  Different grades teach different levels of information.  When you complete certain grades, you have graduation to the next level.  Kindergarten graduates to 1st grade, high school graduates to either college or the workforce.  Cub Scouts graduate to Boy Scouts, and military recruits graduate to active duty.  There are a lot more “graduations” that we sometimes take for granted.  As a man, I know men can sometimes miss opportunities to celebrate ourselves and others into new chapters.  As parents, teachers, counselors, mentors, deacons, etc, we must be intentional in helping to usher younger men (and women) into their new phase of life.

I remember a lot time ago, I was part of a men’s group that watched the video series for Men’s Fraternity.  I remember thinking that I needed to be more intentional with my son.  With that in mind, I set up a plan to help my son celebrate each stage in his life.  I wanted him to know that he was growing to be a baby to a child, from a child to a young man, and from a young man to a man.  I remember the look on his face when he got his first BB gun and first knife.  He was so proud of himself, as were my wife and I.

Celebrations are fun, but there are deeper reasons for setting steps.  Completion of a goal, task, or phase gives a feeling of accomplishment.  This can translate into a feeling of pride, energizing and preparing the person for the next step.  Stress that has accumulated is (typically) released when the task is completed.  The best reason for setting up steps for completion, is setting up the person for success.  Short term goals help reach longer term goals.  You can’t drive all the way across the country without knowing the different individual roads you need to drive toward.  Each road is a step to let you know you are on the right path.

This is not gender specific.  There is a need for men and women to offer guidance and support by giving direction, steps, even expectations.  It is never too late to celebrate with those to whom you give guidance.  Please feel free to share how you help celebrate stages of life.

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Toby Riley

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