Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Corner

One of my goals each year is to make as many new connections and maintain old ones as possible with our Westbury Christian students. Since I only teach eighth and eleventh grade classes, much of my contact comes outside the classroom. The meeting place in our school is the hallway. This is from May 5, 2006.

I man my post every afternoon at 3:25 when the bell rings, ending eighth period and the school day. It's a voluntary job. As teachers, we are required to stand in the hallways during the four minutes allowed for passing between classes but after school, I am on my own. Our kids are good but extra eyes and a physical presence in the halls serve as preventive medicine. At 3:25 and thirty seconds, I take my station in front of our high school office on the second floor of Westbury Christian. My spot has a unique vantage point. Two halls converge blindly at that spot. Our students are rushing to get to their lockers and out the doors. Some are hurrying to tutoring or practices. From where I stand, I see kids coming from two different directions. They are on a collision course with each other but they are blissfully unaware. The closer they cut the corner, the less time there is to react to a student coming from the opposite direction. I watch the drama unfold as we have youngsters collide, or nearly collide, with their schoolmates repeatedly. No one gets hurt- running is not allowed- but there are some pretty good bumps. Maybe a book falls or classroom notes are scattered but no real harm occurs. The biggest byproduct of the corner is embarrassment but there is little recovery time required for that setback.

I hope this doesn't sound irreverent but standing at the confluence of the two halls, I get a sense of what the Lord's view of time and circumstance might be in a very limited way. I can see what is about to come to pass before the participants do. As adults, we try to intervene with kids when we can sense they are navigating into turbulent waters but we are just guessing what the outcome will be. Our Father in Heaven knows our steps and is aware of the disasters awaiting us if our courses are not altered. He sees both sides of the equation. Do you ever wish you could see around the corner in your life, to know what is on the horizon and avoid the catastrophes before they reach the point of fulfillment? I asked one of my classes yesterday and the consensus was NO. The feeling seemed to be that the spontaneity of life, even though it leaves us unsure of our immediate future, makes life more enjoyable. I think not knowing what tomorrow holds gives us the hope that it will be better, that we can make wiser choices. The promises of God seem to be more of a general nature, regarding our long-term well being and not so much of our everyday scenarios. Of course, we know those day-to-day scenarios, when strung together, are our future. Maybe not every collision is a negative one. Perhaps we learn valuable lessons or run headlong into the one we are going to marry. (That's for all you hopeless romantics out there!) Tomorrow afternoon, I'll be patrolling my little corner of the WCS universe once more. It could be I'll prevent a minor calamity or help pick up the pieces of a bruised ego. I am no prophet but I have seen the future and it's coming to a hallway near you!

Applicable quote of the day:
"We drive into the future using only our rearview mirror."
Marshall McLuhan

God bless,
Luke 18:1
E-mail me at

1 comment:

Jon said...

My picture was the purtiest... HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA