I value humility. So I generally try to stay away from pride (haughty chest-pounding). But I admit that I’m feeling a healthy element of pride (satisfaction with personal accomplishment) this week.
I’ve just managed to complete two significant, year-long quests.
Mission: The ASP
First, I finally finished my own personal translation of the New Testament Book of Philippians. I started it back in January, thinking that I might try to keep up with H2O Kent’s Spring Semester teaching series. It was a six-week series — but I think it would have been a challenge for me to complete my translation in six months! Twelve months has provided a more realistic time frame.
It’s been a beautifully-slow process, really causing me to soak in the Scripture and consider various shades of meaning for each word. Generally, I would take two to five verses at a time. I’d start by copying down the Greek text into my journal, leaving every other line blank. Next, I’d translate as much of the material as I could from memory — drawing blanks on the page where I drew blanks in my mind. And then, I’d use my study resources to go back, check my work, and fill in the blanks. This created a literal translation. Finally, I would create my own idiomatic translation (or paraphrase) of the text, often while referencing other translations. I leaned especially on the English Standard Version, the New Living Translation, and the New International Version.
I’m hoping to share more of this project I’m calling Asp’s Suggested Paraphrase — or, “The ASP” — in the days to come. But even if it’s not ready to share with the wider world just yet, I’m awfully proud that I finished the task before the end of 2019.
Mission: The BT
Then on a much wider scale, just this morning, I completed the Northeast Ohio Loop of the Buckeye Trail! It’s involved 565.8 miles of hiking over a total of 173 hours. I broke it up into 85 different pieces and methodically made progress over the course of the whole year. And finally, today, I made that pivotal last step to complete the loop at the headwaters of the Cuyahoga River in Geauga County.
I love the way that this hiking project has drawn me closer to God, much like the translation project. I’ve done the majority of my miles on Friday mornings, when I set aside a segment of the day each week for extended time with God. I find that I most consistently, most meaningfully, and most profoundly encounter God in the wilderness. And while the Buckeye Trail isn’t all wilderness (the variety of landscapes is actually quite amazing), it’s provided a lot of time to walk and talk with God.
I’m hoping to share more of this project, as well, in the coming days. In particular, I want to re-live the memories and come up with my Top Ten hikes from the Northeast Ohio Loop of the Buckeye Trail.
I honestly don’t know how much these quests mean to others — but they mean a lot to me. And I’m really proud to have completed them this week.