Tuesday 10 April 2018

Finish Strong

Finish strong. That was what Daryl Thompson, friend, mentor and chaplain supervisor, had written on his resumé. Not as a career goal, but in a category he titled ‘Life Goals’. In everything he did, he told me, he wanted to finish strong. He showed me the document once and those words stayed with me. A very admirable goal, and harder to do than it sounds. He said that it was easy to start everything with high hopes and great aspirations, but to finish something with as much excitement and enthusiasm was much more difficult. Sometimes we’re tired. Sometimes it hasn’t turned out to be what we hoped for or expected. Sometimes we’re sad to be moving on. There are a thousand reasons for us to take our foot off the pedal and very few to keep on moving forward. That’s where many of us are in the term. It’s been a great term and together we have accomplished so many things. Achievements academic and sporting, spiritual, personal and as a community and we’re all getting tired. But part of the measure of us as a community is whether or not we can help one another across the line when we are tired and worn out. So as we approach the end of Term I, let’s do what we do best: take care of each other. Give each other the benefit of the doubt and help one another get across the line. In short, let’s help each other finish strong.

This week’s reflection:

A traffic jam on the Kokoda Track from a couple of years ago. Dense fog and mist in the jungles combined with the lush greenery muffle the sounds and make you feel like you’re in some other, cotton-shrouded world. That world felt unfamiliar to me, with jungles, mountains and forests that seemed so different from what I was used to. But the people, both the students and parents who were part of my group and the leaders and porters who cared for us, they seemed familiar to me. The presence of people we trust helps us navigate challenging and ambiguous terrain. Whether that terrain is on the outside or the inside. Can you look for good companions on the trail and be grateful for them?

Fr Jack McLain SJ