Sunday, October 24, 2004

speechless with so much to say

I’ve just returned from Travis’s funeral… and I feel a combination of being speechless yet left with so much to say. I’ve had this blog spot waiting around to get some use for quite a while, yet couldn’t figure out what I wanted to do with it. I think I now know.

Two years ago, in July of 2002, I was asked to consider a position beyond what I thought that I was interviewing for. It was beyond my aptitudes to take on, and beyond my understanding of all that would come with it. I was asked to reconsider my interview as a business education teacher in the typical roles for the position of the Career Project Coordinator/instructor. This still falls under the business certification area, and I had undergone much of this in a very personal way within the 6 months leading up to the job. However, I didn’t realize just what an impact the students and community would have on me, or me on them.

I’ve come back to my house (the duplex I bought as an investment with my newfound adult income), after a moving funeral for Travis. Travis was one of my students during my first year. During that year, I took on a position that had a lot of planning, and yet nearly no effective planning put into it. My ambitious yet retired predecessors planned a lot, but I was the rookie left without much help to make something out of literally nothing. I had no resources, no materials, no curriculum, and worst of all… no place. However, I also had no clue how quickly I’d grow, and be impacted by my students.

Travis was in my first period class during the 3rd quarter. He wanted to be an art teacher, but clearly first period wasn’t his finest mental time. It was a hysterical class… by far one of my favorites. With only a dozen students in the class, it was a great chance to get to know some of them very well.

In looking back over the past 2 years, and the upcoming years that lay ahead, I see my role as the career teacher to be a privilege. Though some may scoff at the notion… I am the one teacher near the end of high school that all will have. I am still not that far ahead in my life than my students, and I feel very connected to each of them – whether they are well loved, or if they are the ones that people love to hate… I want to everything I can to help them progress from the life as a child they are tiring of, to the life as an adult that they have grand dreams to attain. Yet beyond all that, the more important aspect of life isn’t the time spent in our earthly dwellings. This aspect I don’t get to share as much as I’d like, yet this is where my ultimate concern lies. I know it is an area that only you can choose.

I learned today that Travis, in all the adult choices and decisions that he had to make, took his eternal life into consideration. Pastor Herr shared a brief description of what salvation means, and where Travis stands. I breathed a sigh of relief… I know that I will one day hang out with Trav again, without all the legalistic and stifling confines of public education. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job. I’d love it better if I could figure out how to make the connection with students in a way that they wouldn’t have to deny that adult life awaits, that they should make some decisions about that life now, and that it could all be done without grading or paperwork. In the end, I know that these strains can make the process more worthwhile.

So, Travis made his decisions. I look then to his friends. I’ve had the majority of his family and close friends in class. As it is my desire to see each of them live lives to the fullest purpose for which they were created, I do anything for each of them, and all the others I’ve had in class. Yet I see they are still struggling with this process. I would love to know where in the process they stand. I’d love to talk to them about why I became the first Christian in my family, why I’ve chosen to live in such a way. I’d love to tell them why I care so much, or just how much I want to see them connect to the purpose of their creation. I’d love to know that I’d spend eternity with them. Yet, I feel so distant, so disconnected, and so limited. I’d drop everything to assist, to talk, to show them the reasons why… but I am a limited and flawed human.

Travis had an impact on so many of us. He brought a surge of unity, caring, and support to our community. Before he was formed, his Eternal Father knew all the days of his life. Every struggle, every battle, every goofy moment, every night of fun, every meal, every breath – it was all known before you or I ever knew Travis. He was created for the sole purpose to know Christ, and to exalt Christ in all he does. Trav has shown us a glimpse of the love of Christ, and how is reaches beyond all our ideas or attitudes. Take courage, Travis may not be with us in a way in which we can see or hear, but Travis would want you to know the love of Christ that you now can choose to receive. If you probed him far enough, he’d tell you that the trials that come your way are not to be taken lightly… the life we are dealt is never easy to endure. But Trav always had an optimistic take on life… he focused on the good. Christ went through Hell to be with you. Don’t just weep at the loss we face or the destruction that life can offer in everyday circumstances… press on toward the goal of intimately knowing the love of Christ. It won’t be easy, but you won’t be alone. There is a plan and purpose for why you were fashioned just as you are. Find it and press on to achieve it. These daily events may seem overwhelming, but lift your eyes up to a greater purpose.

Currently listening to:
Hallelujah by Kids in the Way

A song to a friend who continues to ignore the truth and turn there back on your efforts to reach them. I'm sick and tired of watching over you. Never knowing what you're gonna do. Every step you take is closer and closer to falling far away. What's It gonna take, what's It take to make you see. If It all came down tonight. Safe from the losing fight. Just know I only want to hear you say. Hallelujah, hallelujah. He's alive in me today. Everyday you search for something new. You turn your back on things that make you choose. And everytime you do, you're closer and closer to falling far away. What's It gonna take, what's It take to make you see...

Feel free to talk to me about any of this. If you are a student, class time isn’t the best or easiest opportunity. Find me online at bigspringcareers on AIM/MSN/Y! or email me.


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