Seasons come and go. The longer we live, the more opportunities we have to grow. Ecclesiastes 3:1 states, “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under Heaven.” Thankfully, March brings us spring and April supposedly provides us with rain showers to bring May flowers. Opportunities arise as long as we are willing to devote ourselves to the act of cultivating the path on which we travel. 

Spring is a time of renewal after the dark and cold of winter. In education, spring is when many educators grapple with the decision of whether or not to apply for a promotion, transfer or seek an external career opportunity. The sports world looks forward to spring training. During a presidential election year like this one, political primaries pave the way for nominees to set their sights on winning in November. Spring is a time of preparation and optimism and planning for the future. Regardless of where you find yourself this time of year, I encourage you to keep pushing forward. 

Hopefully, you’ll make intentional efforts about your next move. If so, try not to get lost in analysis paralysis. It’s wise to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of any decision, but don’t allow doubt to interfere with your passion or calling. Make a decision, then own it. Steer clear of thoughts about what would have been. Things may get tough, but live in the reality of the decision you made. We can’t live in the past or in an alternate version of reality. Accept that fact and continue pressing forward. Accept your choices, embrace introspection and use your knowledge as experience for whatever life throws your way. Sometimes you must be willing to bet on yourself. 

I trust some of you accepted the challenge I posed in the January/February 2024 issue to learn, grow and improve throughout this calendar year. If so, you may be well on your way to achieving personal or professional goals. Keep going! 

If you’ve experienced a setback, you are in good company. Thomas Edison once wrote, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” If that isn’t enough to inspire you, surely learning from the greatest basketball player in history will help. Michael Jordan once said, “I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” Everyone has a purpose. Allow yourself grace as you discover how to use your skills to serve others. The consequences of inaction are too serious to risk wasting any of your potential. 

When the time is right for you to take a leap of faith, you’ll know. Just dare to jump. 

When the rubber meets the road, your faith must be larger than your fear. Walt Whitman said, “Keep your face always toward the sunshine—and shadows will fall behind you.” Too often, dwelling on the past prevents us from evolving, which inevitably leads to complacency. In a conversation I once had with a great Episcopal priest, I was reminded of the power that comes from moving forward in peace with three simple words, “It is done.” 

Negative past experiences do not have to determine future performance. Mistakes only cripple you if you refuse to learn from them. Your faith and resilience can lead you farther than you have previously ever known. 

This can be a season of growth and exploration or one of complacency and conformity. Ultimately, the choice is yours. Your dreams were not designed to fill a void, but to achieve a purpose beyond yourself. Langston Hughes wrote, “Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is like a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.” Only you know whether or not your dream is worth chasing and only you can achieve it. When push comes to shove, will you sit still or will you dare to fly? Use this season to determine the answer for yourself. I know I will. 

Author

  • Patrick Miller

    A passionate local educator, Past President and current executive officer of Amarillo Branch NAACP, Patrick writes in every issue about education, faith and forward momentum.