My wife left to go out of town and it taught me something.
I missed everything that comes with being near her.
I missed her company.
I missed her touch.
I wanted those things.
Should I have looked for them elsewhere because she was not near me? Would it have been appropriate to seek the companionship, intimacy and affection that I yearned for from another? Certainly not!
So, what do I instead?
I wait for my spouse.
I read my spouse’s love letters.
I reflect on my spouse’s love for me.
I reflect on my love toward my spouse.
I recall the last time I felt my spouse’s touch.
I remember the good we’ve had together and I rejoice over it.
I wait (prepare) with eager expectation for my spouse’s return.
So it is with the Lord.
He has not abandoned you. He’s just further ahead in the place that He’s calling you to. Sometimes, the absence we feel is His leading for us to come out of the place where we’ve grown comfortable and to come up just a little bit higher. (Romans 1:17, 2 Corinthians 3:18)
So, trust in His commitment to His promises, “He will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5), be faithful to the Lord and seek His face because “He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6). And, never forget that He wants to be with you as evidenced by His actions, foremost by coming through His Son Jesus (Immanuel) and including His moving on my heart to write this for you to read this right now.
In the words of David the psalmist,
“Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!”
– Psalm 27:14
In Week 19 of 52 Weeks of Gratefulness, I give thanks for people that put the “public” in public education.
In this photo our son Chris is headed to a trip to willingly spend days in the woods woods (the duplication is on purpose for emphasis –this was deep, hot, tick and mosquito infested woods, not some glamping trip). Our son was eager to go all because when Dr. Jessica Witt Tegt and her family made Starkville their home she, being a scientist, saw where she should could make a contribution and help take science education to the next level in our community’s schools.
Chris joined Dr. Tegt’s Science Club back in 2011. As I write this, he is now finishing his first week interning with a leading timberland management firm. Chris talks often about his desire to share the inspiration he received with other kids in the Starkville Oktibbeha Consolidated School District. This happened, largely because someone saw an opportunity to make things better for our community and cared enough to to do something about it.
When we, as the public, love where we live, take ownership and participate in the care, maintenance and improvement of public resources such as our schools, that extra effort makes for an extraordinary community.
This particular picture made me recall the work of Dr. Jessica Tegt and Team Awesome: Evan O’Donnell, Beverly Keasler, et al. But, I’ve seen so many people taking initiative and going the extra mile: whether it’s Dr. Kay Fennell Brocato who tirelessly advocated for Studio School (concepts from which are present today in our District’s state of the art Partnership School) or Dr. Alison Buehler who identified 3rd graders struggling to read at grade level and recruited volunteers to implement a remediation program that she designed or Vanessa Shaffer who advocated for the sport of tennis and held her own tennis camps to help on-ramp kids to the high school tennis team or Eileen Carr-Tabb who mans concession stands to support our district’s teams just because she’s a member of the community or Chief Sammy Shumaker who organized men to stand in the gap, pray over each and every one of our schools and mentor young men.
I could go on.
I am thankful for neighbors that put the “public” in public schools, who demonstrate what it means to live in community and take our collective success personally.
I’m grateful. #52WoG
I have great joy, peace and hope because Christ is in my life.
Yet, there is pain that never leaves me. It’s like gravity, a condition of this environment, always there, weighing me down.
I don’t want to,
I don’t feel like,
I don’t have the strength to,
are all ways the pain makes me feel.
But, there is strength to thrive in spite of the pain: His strength.
To enjoy it I have to accept my weakness and His power, allow it to align me, flow through me and make me flourish,
like a flower emerging from the weight of the earth, its roots still in but its bud reaching toward the sun.
Quite often, life requires more than I have. But, His grace is sufficient. (2 Corinthians 12:8-9)
There is power to overcome
I don’t want to,
I don’t feel like,
I don’t have the strength to.
There is power to go on
as a vessel of His Love.
I just have to go,
depending on Him.
Any Love, any Light, any Life that He can channel through me is eternally worth it.