Memory often begins to fade with age. However, mine seems to have remarkably shifted into reverse.
The recent road trip my wife and I took has delightfully rejuvenated memories in ways that has me contemplating returning to college to pursue a PhD in astrophysics . . . justifying some who claim I’m ‘spaced out’😊
I seldom remember my dreams. However, last night a feature presentation from 5o years ago filled my cranium. I awoke, not wanting to, with a smile.
Here’s the script of my joyful dream for your imagination to color outside the lines.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Alan, a farmer; Dave, a military contractor; Rick, a corporate executive; Paul, our pastor; and myself, a public-school teacher, gathered around the parsonage’s dining room table in the small bucolic village.
The hour was late. Over the past year our fledgling Christian School Board had prayed and met together to organize and bring to fruition a new K-4 Christian school in the small rural town nestled in the Pennsylvania mountains. One by one, barriers to the new school’s formation had been overcome. With school scheduled to begin in just a few weeks parents had enrolled nearly 40 children (two mine); tuitions paid; classrooms set up; and Elementary curricula purchased. One major ‘obstacle’ still loomed . . . our school had yet to find a 3rd/4th grade teacher.
The meeting had been long, and an aura of unspoken anxiety hung over the room. We’d exhausted every possible option we could humanly think of to recruit a teacher for our upper two grades. Midnight was approaching as we began to wrap up and prayed around the table once more. Our pastor’s encouraging, fateful words still echo in my mind, “Gentlemen, we all believe the Lord wants to start a Christian school here, and He will provide a teacher. Keep praying.”
Just then the phone rang in the kitchen and Betty, the pastor’s wife entered the room . . . “Paul, it’s for you.”
Pastor left to take the call. Waiting for him to return while the four of us began re-hashing possibilities to fill the crucial teaching position before adjourning. Several minutes later pastor Paul returned, wearing a strangely subtle smile.
“Gentlemen, that was a young lady named Jean. She apologized for calling at such a late hour, but said she was unable to sleep and felt led to call. She told me she had recently graduated college and heard our church was starting a Christian school. Jean went onto say that at this late date we had undoubtedly filled our staffing needs, but asked if she could still submit an application in the event a future teaching position might arise. I then asked her what her degree was in. “Elementary education, and I particularly enjoy teaching the upper Elementary grades”, she replied. “I took the liberty of scheduling her for an interview next week.”
Smiles abounded as we rejoiced, thanking the Lord for answering our prayers.
However, as we began discussing the details concerning our new ‘sleepless miracle teacher’ prospect, a new ‘obstacle’ arose. This young lady lived some 50 miles away. She had shared with our pastor that while she still had some family responsibilities with her mother, if needed, she could and would be willing to trust God to handle the nearly 100-mile round-trip daily commute. Four of the five of us began to allow logic to erode faith, subtly drifting from ‘God can’ to ‘We can’t’ thinking mode . . . “How could Jean possibly afford the gasoline expenses on the meager salary we could afford pay her? And what about the winter driving hazards she undoubtedly would have to navigate?”
With a firm but gentle reprimand pastor Paul interrupted, bringing us back to ‘God can’ mode from ‘We can’t’ thinking . . .
“Gentlemen, have you forgotten what just happened here less than a half hour ago? God has this. Let’s continue to pray, come back next week, and see what He does.”
Having been humbly and duly admonished, we adjourned. However, we were still trying to ‘help God out’, and Rick and I privately agreed that we could each chip in something to help defray gasoline costs . . . “O ye of little faith.”
The following week Jean was interviewed and hired as our new school’s 3rd/4thh grade teacher/student transporter. With ‘guarded faith’ we tenuously anticipated how our omniscient, omnipotent God, who “…owns the cattle on a thousand hills…”, would somehow be able to ‘miraculously’ cover our new educator’s fuel costs, and grant her traveling mercies . . . “O ye of little faith” . . . like God really needed us to solve these latest ‘obstacles’.
Once again, we met around the parsonage’s dining room table, eagerly awaiting any new news our pastor might have to share.
Paul welcomed us sporting a subtle smile strangely similar to the time he’d received the late-night phone from our ‘sleepless miracle teacher’.
“Gentlemen, thank you for praying. For the past several years our Catholic friends, who pay taxes like us and choose to send their children to parochial school, have been lobbying our state to be reimbursed for transporting their children to school. Just recently the state finally approved legislation to do so. We have three students enrolled who live along our new teacher’s route to our school who will require transportation. I’ve spoken with Jean, and she’s more than willing to transport these students with her to and from our school each day.”
Once again, smiles filled the room as we rejoiced together, praising the Lord for reminding us that, whatever the situation, God can’ overcome all of our ‘We can’t’ ‘obstacles’.
That first school year Jean faithfully served her dual role as teacher, and student-transporter without mishap. ‘Miraculously’, her student-transport reimbursement from the state more than met her gasoline expenses. Seems like God was able to accomplish it all without us having to ‘help Him out’, and in spite of our cautiously ‘guarded faith’ and anxious, ‘hopeful prayers’ . . . “With God, all things are possible.”
Keep Looking Up . . . His Best is Yet to Come!