Today was the baby shower for Ben and Becky Johnson at school for the boy which I hope will be named Coach Hawley Johnson. At lunch at the teachers' table, I was appointed by Veronica, Annette, and Russell to run to the nearby Wal-Mart for a gift card and a fruit tray. Annette, or Mrs. Turner to our kids, gave me two twenty dollar bills. As I checked out at the store, I found (bad pun) that within five minutes, I had lost one of the twenties. Amazingly, three hours later, one of our teachers, Karen Keese, picked it up in the middle of our lower school lobby! WOW! However, when I got home, I couldn't find my checkbook, not exactly a new development in my life.This is from January 16, 2006.
I am no fan of reality television. The shows seem scripted which life is not. There is one reality show which I think I am perfect for- The Biggest Loser. Competitors vie to see who can lose the biggest percentage of their body weight. It does appear that some contestants achieve radical transformations in both their bodies and self-esteem levels. You have to love that much! The reason I believe I am THE BIGGEST LOSER has nothing to do with calories or workout regimens. I could be the undisputed champion because I lose EVERYTHING! When I coached and taught in Tennessee, I put my keys on a six foot yellow jump rope to help me keep up and I still misplaced them. One night, I received a phone call from a student, Gina Bentley. She told me, "Coach Hawley, I found your checkbook!" When I inquired where she made her discovery, the exact location was a newspaper vending machine outside the local Kroger. I must have left it when purchasing a USA TODAY. I have no doubt the Lord put Gina there that night to rescue me from my own ineptitude. I love my parents with all my heart but apparently something was lacking from their contributions to my DNA portfolio.
At Westbury Christian School, we receive our paychecks on the 1st and the 15th of the month. The 15th in January fell on Sunday so we were paid on Friday the 13th. (That should have been a tip off.) When I got ready make my deposit on Saturday, my bi-monthly check was nowhere to be found! I went through my clothes from the previous day and the rest of my dirty laundry. I searched under every pile of stuff it could have used as a hiding place and poked in the trash can at our community apartment mail boxes. I dug through my car- nothing. Finally, in a last ditch effort, I drove to school, hoping it MIGHT be in my classroom. WHEW!!!!!! There it was, on top of a bunch of assorted junk on my desk. I have no remembrance of how it got there and I know I will NEVER lose it again...until the next time.
In Luke 15, Jesus teaches three parables in response to complaints he was fellowshipping with SINNERS, i.e. the lost. The best known of the trio of lessons is commonly referred to as the Prodigal Son. The others involve one lost sheep and eerily similar to my fiasco, lost money in the guise of one silver coin that goes missing. If someone had actually found my paycheck and cashed it, my net loss would have been 1/24th of my salary or 4.2% of my yearly earnings. In Jesus' parable, a woman loses only one coin but it represents 10% of her wealth, potentially a much more devastating loss than what I faced. The common theme of Luke 15 is that one is an important numeral to God and rejoicing always follows rescue, whether a coin, a sheep, or a son. I am not ashamed to admit I rejoiced and breathed easier, too. I was looking at stopping payment on the check and asking our business office to issue another. I would have been just a little sheepish about that! In the CBS show Without A Trace, when someone goes missing, the FBI hunts non-stop until the lost is found. That's what Jesus was talking about.The woman searched for her coin, the shepherd tracked down his errant sheep, and thank goodness, the Lord watches over me. It must be a full time job!
Applicable quote of the day:
"I have held many things in my hands and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God's hands, that I still possess."
Steve (rated the #1 Biggest Loser by Viri, Bouba, and Beverly, my student aides)
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org