Three years ago today I sat in room 1309 at Olathe Northwest High School learning the classroom management strategy of Ohana from my good friend Curt Robertson. Today, after three successful years of implementing his strategies in my class, I stood in the same room, teaching a crowd of standing room only teachers from my district the principles of Ohana. My how times have changed! Curt is now retired due to health reasons, but thanks to him the baton of Ohana was successfully passed to me before he quietly bowed out. It lives on in my classroom, and I am praying it will now be spreading like a wildfire through our district after at least 30 teachers soaked in the knowledge.
But this story is not about Ohana. It is about something that happened to me this morning before my presentation. One of those God things. Just another reminder that He listens to us. Jeremiah 29: 12-13 states, “Then you will call upon me and come pray to me and I will hear you. You will seek me and you will find me when you seek me with all of your heart.” There I was, riddled with anxiety, sitting at the seat of a desk I had never sat in before, looking at a computer I had never seen before, wondering where to even turn the darn thing on to get my presentation ready. The clock was ticking. I had 15 minutes. Tossing everything down on the desk, I fell into the comfort of the blue chair, bowed my head and prayed.
Oh, Lord, please help me! Give me boldness and confidence in this presentation. Give me courage, Lord. Please assist me with this technology …
“Knock, knock!” a friendly voice greeted me.
I kept my hands folded in prayer and looked up slowly to my right. There stood Ron, a technology assistant from the district, dressed in a sharp blue polo, sipping on a hot cup of joe.
Okay, this works, God! Amen.
Never before had a prayer ever been answered so promptly before! Ron set up my computer, connected my iMovie, helped me run through my PowerPoint, and then graciously offered to be there in the room when I switched from my PowerPoint to my iMovie and then back to my PowerPoint. Those butterflies that fluttered before in my stomach were all but gone. I began to feel the power of God fill that room. And as I went off to hear the keynote speaker for the morning, I knew it was all in good hands. God’s hands.
Satan tried attacking me there in the gymnasium. His lies were quite pathetic actually. You can’t follow this nationally known speaker! Your technology will never work. Who will want to even come to your session? You aren’t ready to teach about this. Give up now! I dug my heels in much like David facing Goliath and told Satan to get out of my head. He did. An hour and a half later I found myself back in room 1309, preparing to teach my session. The room was already flooded with teachers when I walked in. I pulled up the PowerPoint. Still there! A mysterious power began to fuel my soul. I found out later that day that my wife and kids had prayed for me at 9:40 am. The exact moment I was flooded with confidence.
I’d love to end this blog like a fairy tale and say that my presentation was perfect. Flawless. Leaving the crowd with one of those mic drop moments. I was so fired up that I only got through about 30 of the 50-slide PowerPoint. I simply couldn’t stop talking. I rushed the ending, but I gave it all I had. Every last moment. “Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think” (Ephesians 3: 20). Once again, God stole the show. To Him goes the glory.
I wish Curt could have been there. I was supposed to meet him out front at 9:30 am to push his wheelchair in so he could enjoy seeing one of his old friends at work, but Curt called me early this morning telling me he was having a rough day. He quietly bowed out, asking me to tell him everything afterward. I couldn’t bring myself to call him tonight. I had to write about it first. But God-willing he will soon see this blog, and God-willing he will have a better day tomorrow.
Would you do me a favor? If you are reading this right now, say a prayer for Curt Robertson. Pray that God will continue working through him to accomplish amazing things. Pray that his health will improve. Pray that he will realize that even though he is not teaching his heart out in the classroom anymore that Ohana is living on through others. Just pray. Today was such a beautiful reminder that God hears our prayers, and He loves us enough to answer them. If God can answer a prayer through a smiling guy named Ron, what can He do for you?
(When I quiet myself from the craziness of this world and give my heart to God in prayer, I am taken to a different place that keeps me safe, secure, and assured that He cares for me. Citizen Way’s song “When I’m With You” is a wonderful reminder that we always have someone to talk to when we feel broken. Listen to the song below.)