I can recall leaving my office building one day and heading to the parking garage where I noticed a sign that was posted on the door. The sign simply said, “Pardon The Progress.” The more I would read this sign exiting the building for several weeks, the more it begins to resonate in my spirit. I began to think about how that simple message has such a profound meaning. The phrase made me think about myself and what kind of progress I have made concerning various areas in my life. Sure, this message was on the door in lieu of the entire building going through various stages of construction, but I could not stop thinking about it in a more personal manner.
But, it doesn’t make sense right? Because the meaning of pardon is the action of forgiving or being forgiven for an error or offense. When I think about some of the things I have changed in my life for the better, I don’t feel the need to apologize to anyone for that! So it’s really a play on the word pardon. The meaning of progress?…Forward or onward movement toward a destination.
Keep Making Progress
I’m familiar with seeing a sign of this nature especially when some kind of work or construction is being done and it would normally say, “Pardon The Mess,” which made more sense. But the phrase, “Pardon The Progress” is intended to say that this mess that you see now, it is a work in progress towards something greater, an improvement; an upgrade.
One major personal change that comes to mind was when I purchased my Apple watch two years ago in order to keep me accountable for more physical activity within my busy days. Being intentional about incorporating more exercise and tracking my physical activity made a major impact in multiple ways: My energy levels are up, I rest better at night, I don’t feel sluggish in the mornings, and along with better eating habits, I have managed to lose some weight with the hopes of reaching my goal weight before the holiday season.
This change physically has also had a positive effect on my time management. At one point after work, I would try to get in a workout, shower, eat dinner, but left myself only a few hours to read and to work on more personal projects. Many of these projects didn’t get started because I would be too exhausted from the day.
I switched my workout time from the evenings to the early morning, which helped me to focus longer in the evenings without feeling too tired from the workday. Talk about a huge change for me that allowed more things to get scratched off my list and meet deadlines! Progress must be measurable in order to be effective. This watch came equipped with multiple options to compare statistics by the activity, the hour, and even the day, which showed me how far I had come with increased physical effort. However, all my days were not perfect. There were some days that I was too tired from work from the previous day or I simply just talked myself out of working out and hit the snooze button a couple of times.
Even Small, Positive Changes are Progress
Progress not only involves all of the positive changes we make but our mistakes and failures too! How? Well, if what you have learned has taught you what not to do, then this result moves you closer to a solution or destination in your life. The goal is to collectively be able to look back over time and through the sum total of failures and successes, witness an overall positive result. We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28 NIV)
Some of you may have talked yourself into thinking a little change isn’t worth the effort because you looked at the end result from the end instead of looking at the end result from the beginning. The Bible says to not despise small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin (Zechariah 4:10).
Progress is Progressive. It doesn’t go from 0 to 100—it includes 99 other steps. I had an old college professor who you used to say to me, “Charlene, you are not finished until what you are working towards is complete, so keep working hard and never quit.” He was right! I held on tight to that advice and developed that attitude well into adulthood, which has helped me to persevere through some of the most challenging times of my life, one day at a time.
Here’s my fair warning. You may have some people that don’t quite understand your steps to progression and that’s ok. You are not doing it for anyone but yourself, and you don’t owe anyone an apology. Just simply say, “Pardon My Progress” and keep it going!
So, What’s the Play Call?
Here are 3 play calls to keep you encouraged during your journey to progression:
- “In all hard work there is profit, but merely talking about it only brings poverty.” ~Proverbs 14:23
- “So, then, be careful how you live. Do not be unwise but wise, making the best use of your time because the times are evil. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” ~Ephesians 5:15-17
- “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” ~Galatians 6:9