This week at our Junior School Assembly, we had the opportunity to congratulate Mrs Farley on her achievement of learning to ride a unicycle over the past twelve months. Ably assisted by Mr Farley and Mr Wooding, she courageously and determinedly pedalled down the central aisle of M Block.
Mrs Farley was issued the challenge and given the gift of a unicycle a year ago by Dr Johnson, who had been sharing his own unicycle-riding learning journey with the Junior School. This year, while Mrs Farley was learning her new skill, Dr Johnson took on acquiring a brand new skill for himself - playing the saxophone. He demonstrated his new ability a few weeks ago at Junior School assembly, accompanied by Mrs Farley on piano.
We interviewed both Dr Johnson and Mrs Farley this morning to explore some more about learning their new skills and from their answers, we were all reminded of some very important principles about facing challenges and becoming all that God wants us to be.
Mrs Farley told us that she was quite nervous at the start, and she did feel under a bit of pressure to learn to ride the unicycle as quickly and smoothly as Dr Johnson did. Then she realised that she would have her own journey and would just do her very best, not comparing herself with anyone else, but learning at her own pace. Although she did feel like giving up sometimes, Mrs Farley remembered all her students who were encouraging her and she wanted to inspire them to help them in their own learning journeys so she kept going with persistence, even when it was difficult. Despite needing help to make it to the end of her ride today and not being able to cycle as quickly or as smoothly as Dr Johnson, she didn’t feel she had failed but had still achieved success in learning to do something brand new.
Dr Johnson said that he in no way felt proud or superior to Mrs Farley because he was better at unicycling but instead, that he was cheering her on and encouraging her; Mrs Farley said the same about Dr Johnson when he was learning the saxophone, even though she is more proficient at music than he. Dr Johnson felt that learning the saxophone was very challenging at times, but he didn’t think of giving up and just sticking with what he was already good at because he wants to persevere and keep learning new things.
Thank you for your examples, Dr Johnson and Mrs Farley. We think you two are great examples of the Bible verse Romans 12:6 (The Message) which says, ‘Let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with others, or trying to be something we aren’t.’
Be yourself - that’s who God made you to be; and do your best with persistence - that pleases God.