I Am a Pusher

Lest I get locked up by the President’s men implementing his ruthless, relentless anti-drug campaign, let me explain.

In my various circles, I take my roles seriously—sometimes (okay, often) too seriously I expect everyone to have the same passion.

What Confucius said thousands of years ago still rings true today: “The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential . . . these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.”

As a college lecturer, I push my students to their limits. Five out of 20 catch on, march to my beat, and appreciate the pushing. But millennials, as we all know, are distracted by technology, and therefore the rest do not think excelling is a big thing; passing is good enough.

As a writer, I likewise push—myself first of all. After a first draft, I rewrite and revise, reading my manuscript from the point of view of both an editor and a reader. So I consult my readers, informally through FB’s Messenger or through an FGD. It takes forever to get a reply, and to get people together. Then I badger my editor, sending her questions and following up.

As a Sunday School (SS) teacher, I study my lessons two weeks in advance. But there are Sundays when I have only two “students” or none at all. I push, “I missed you in SS last Sunday.” “Will I see you at SS next time?” “Hey, our SS lesson next week is interesting; be there.”

As adviser to our university newspaper, I exact commitment from the editorial staff. One time, as I lectured on the value of hard-work, one of them was reduced to tears.

Pushing can hurt those who see it as nagging. On the other hand, it is fulfilling for me—a gift of grace—especially when things get done well. Yet sometimes I muse: should I just chill, let things flow, and not worry about results?

I go back to Scripture to keep me on track—and to view pushing from the right perspective. 
“. . . whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Philippians 4:8 ESV)


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