Core scripture: “So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.” (John 16:22)
Core song lyric: “It’s been a long day without you, my friend
And I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again.” (“See You Again” by Wiz Khalifa)
Message: (In the continuous leaning plan my students worked on this week, one of the three options they had to choose from to showcase their learning was to write a letter to something they miss, personifying it. Gee, I wonder who I will write to?)
You never know how much you miss something until it is gone. Little did I know way back in March that my last day of school I would take off to attend my son’s field trip. I never even had the chance to say goodbye. All the excitement of 4th quarter. Teaching my favorite book, The Outsiders. Finding creative ways to go out with a bang. Giving my final exam early just so I can teach life lessons the last few days before my students leave my classroom.
I miss that. I miss you. I miss the schedule. I miss the relationships. I miss my colleagues, my students, my administration. I miss racing to the restroom within four minutes to get back in time to teach. I miss scarfing my lunch within 20 minutes. As a matter of fact I think I still do by habit! Much like Paul writes from prison in the New Testament, my heart longs to see you again. It aches for something more than what life is right now.
Yet with every door closed, quarantine opens another. I have enjoyed time with family, discovering beautiful nature walks never seen before. My boys have learned to skip rocks down a creek bed, rejoicing over every ripple in the water. Family walks around the block have been a necessity in the gorgeous spring weather. I have time to snuggle my boys while they still enjoy snuggles in the morning and time to watch Netflix with my wife at night.
But I would trade it all in a heartbeat just for one more day. One day to say goodbye. One day to celebrate with my students. One day to call each kid up to the front of the room and pay them the respect they deserve, handing them a personal note. I still wrote those notes this year, and I wonder when I will have the chance to give them to their rightful owners. To see their faces light up. To weep alongside the ones I will miss the most. Someday that will happen, Teaching.
Until then, I must be content. No matter what the circumstance. To dwell on the negative would simply make life miserable. You will always be there for me. Waiting. Our world will never be the same. This is the 9/11 of education. The Columbine. Changing our lives forever. And when that day comes when I step foot back into the classroom, we both will rejoice. Until then, Teaching.
Scripture: “Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Even so, you have done well to share with me in my present difficulty.” (Philippians 4:11-14)
How can the above words of Paul be applied to quarantine? Does quarantine feel like a prison for you as Paul was in prison? How does he remain optimistic? How can we remain optimistic?
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Prayer: Father, help me be content no matter what the circumstance. Let me embrace the beauties of life as I yearn to teach again. Amen.