Last year a very dear friend of mine gave me this figure. Hand-sculpted by artist Susan Lordi of Willow Tree, the piece is inspired by her son, “who is currently immersed in the research and documentation of other cultures” ( Accessed: 9 June 2010).

My copy sits on the desk next to my laptop. It captures the essence of my lifelong journey to learn through study and life experiences. I am especially taken by its title, “Quest.”

For years I have been on a quest to advance in academics and achieve excellence in children’s ministry. The former is a pursuit for which I am grateful to have undertaken, yet relieved it is over in the formal sense. The latter continues on, although it has shifted dramatically in some important areas of emphasis. One year has passed since my graduation from doctoral studies. I have spent the year continuing my role as a warehouseman and also implementing an experimental initiative to partner tangibly with parents in my church. It has been an eventful year.

Yet, a new season is dawning for me in several respects. Ever the goal-setting optimist, I am privately drafting a list of personal goals I wish to tackle in the near and long terms.  Some will pertain to church work and mission, to be sure. But not all. I hesitate to call it a bucket list, given my distaste for jumping on popular trends. It is, however, safe to say that some of the objectives I choose may surprise those who know me best. Nothing is determined with certainty yet. But soon, a few will be. Oh, they will be. Unwilling to settle into the fatalism of middle-aged mediocrity which stifles the hopes of so many people of my generation, I press forward with enthusiasm into the high calling to which I have been called in Christ Jesus. Yes, “I am quite ready for another adventure”  (Bilbo Baggins, Return of the King).


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