This past Monday, October 11, I celebrated my 34th birthday…and Columbus Day, of course (I’m always ready to take a day off of work to celebrate the founding of the Bahamas!). As I was enjoying my three day weekend, I spent some time in reflection upon what this past year of my life has been like. If I go back to October 11, 2009, I was out of my mind. For any educator that reads this, do you remember your first day of your “rookie” year? I was still feeling that way in my second month of being a Jr. High Principal and 2nd year as Head Football Coach…thankfully, by that time, I had recently finished my Master’s program. I remember that I felt so out of whack with all of my responsibilities that were before me (not to mention being a husband to my beautiful wife and father to my 3 wonderful kiddos). I remember that within 2 months of the school year beginning, I felt as if I had dealt with an entire school year’s worth of issues. All this to say, there was one component that led to my being so scatter-brained. I was trying to do it all on my own!
There was one particular moment when I had my “awakening”. It actually came at the beginning of last school year. I don’t remember the date, but I do remember everything else that transpired. I was giving devotions to my faculty and was right in the middle of my opening prayer. Right after I said the words, “Father, I can’t do this on my own…”, I completely lost it and started crying. Now let me tell you, I didn’t just shed a single, solitary tear that slowly rolled down my cheek. I completely lost it. I couldn’t finish my prayer. It was extremely difficult to get through the rest of my devotions, cause my heart was wrenched.
It took me awhile to understand what had happened. There was nothing going on in my life that was so overwhelming that would cause me to break down like that. The Lord placed it on my heart that I needed HIM more than ever! I was not giving myself, and everything about me to HIM. I was trying to live my life as if I were in control. How foolish! I am currently studying I Samuel and came upon the following verse that the Lord has been inscribing on my heart.
“Only fear the LORD, and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things he has done for you.” – 1 Samuel 12:24
My life has been like that of the Israelites in 1 Samuel, in their constant struggle to consistently trust in the Lord. They forgot their own story of how the Lord brought them out of bondage from the Egyptians. How He fed, protected, and led them through the wilderness. They forgot how He delivered them in times of peace and in war. Yet, through all that, they still wanted to put their trust in an earthly king. They only put their full trust in God when they needed Him.
In my time as a Jr. High Principal, I have come to the realization that there is nothing that I can do to please everyone. There is nothing that I can do to assist all the students and all the issues that they bring to me. There is nothing about me and my very limited wisdom to do my job without allowing God to take full control of my life. God is not my co-pilot. God is not there for me to lean on when I need Him. My God IS! If I don’t place full trust in Him, then verse 25 of that same chapter will ring true.
“Only fear the LORD, and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things he has done for you. But if you still do wickedly, both you and your king shall be swept away.”
My wickedness is not adhering to God’s will for my life. Trying to live by my own guidelines, my own will, my own desires.My “king” is anything that I place above my God. Anything that I allow to hinder my relationship with my One True KING. What I have learned this past year, is that I need to do all that I can to completely submit to my Father in Heaven. All the decisions I make as a Principal, I give to Him. All the issues that come across my desk, I give to Him. I must cry out on a daily basis to Him. What I experienced last year during devotions, should be a constant. Every day, I need to humble myself, get on my knees, and cry out to the Lord to shower me with His wisdom. By this time next year, when I turn 35, my desire is that I’m saying the same thing.
Lord, my desire is that I will continue to submit to you daily. I want to live out the true meaning of being Your disciple…a lifelong student of Your Word and meaning for my life. I want to learn of your overwhelming love, grace, and mercy by which I live everyday. For by grace I have been saved. I don’t want to take that lightly. Not of myself, Lord. I desire to see You in all things. Thank you for revealing to me that I am nothing without You. I praise Your most Holy Name! AMEN.