Advent: Day 9
Psalm 25: 8-9, Revised Standard Version
Despite having a new heating system in the sixth-grade wing, there is no heat in my classroom today—and it’s cold. Outside, it is barely 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Inside? I’m wearing my coat.
I call Mr. S the maintenance man. He comes to my room, apologizing that he hasn’t been trained to fix the new heating system, but he calls his supervisor. To his dismay, he discovers that his supervisor is helpless too. The furnace installers have taken a crucial piece of equipment with them, and they won’t return until tomorrow.
Mr. S sits at one of my tables. “I need to rest for a few minutes,” he says.
“Even though it’s cold in here?” I ask.
“It’s warmer in here than outdoors,” he says.
It turns out that Mr. S really wants to unburden himself.
“I don’t like my job,” he says. He shakes his head, and then tells me why he’s so frustrated. “I wish I could retire,” he says with a sigh. Suddenly he asks, “How about you? Are you thinking about leaving or are you going to stay?”
It’s the question that arises frequently in this chaotic school district, where the annual turnover of staff is among the highest in the state. In fact, one of our middle school teachers is leaving in a few days for a new job in Iowa.
“I’ve thought about leaving,” I say to Mr. S, “but where would I go?”
What I don’t tell him, because I’m not sure he’d understand, is that the only thing keeping me here—besides the children—is my sense of being placed here by God. Like the psalmist, I have found that God leads people who are willing to be led. If it weren’t for that, I’d be filling out as many applications as it takes to get out of here as quickly as possible.
However, until it is clear that I am supposed to move on, I listen for God’s instruction right where I am, confident that God will teach me the way to go, and lead me when the time is right.