I'm in my classroom, waiting for a basketball game to start. A few minutes ago, I was honored to present the pre-game devotional to our WCS boys' basketball team before they take the floor against Bellaire High School. It should be a classic. We are undefeated and ranked as the # 1 private school in Texas and Bellaire is ranked as the # 2 public school in Houston. The following is about a young man who played for us several years ago. It is from March 8, 2006.
James Ewing is having knee surgery within the hour. He is scheduled to undergo the knife at 11:30 a.m. to repair the tear of his ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) suffered in Westbury Christian School's postseason march to our twelfth private school Texas state basketball championship in thirteen years. James was a good high school player. He played on the perimeter and even won the three point shooting contest at a prestigious high school tournament, the Marshall (Kentucky) County Hoop Fest, last season as a junior. James is also an excellent student, slated to finish in the top three in his graduating class this May. He comes from a wonderful family and he's a good citizen. Those are all admirable characteristics for a young man but that's not what impressed me about James Ewing today. You see, James asked me to pray for his surgery to be successful. That's not unusual at our school. What is unique about this prayer request was its timing. I passed James in the hall several hours ago and that is when he mentioned it. James was at school this morning before he went to the hospital. He came to school because he had an AP Economics test scheduled first period and he did not want to fall behind. How many people do you know who would come in for an exam when they could put it off? I would not have shown up at that age and I don't know many who would. I have had two surgeries as an adult- Lasik and hernia- and I guarantee you I shut down mentally long before the procedures commenced. You hear the word focus thrown about quite a bit in athletics these days. James took the definition to a new level in regards to eighteen year old boys.I sent my tax stuff to Larry Roder, my accountant in Tennessee today. It should have been in the mail five weeks ago. I'm in line for a nice refund and it would have been smart to take care of it earlier. The IRS check could have already been in the bank but knowing me, that would be too easy. I had most of the stuff together eight weeks ago. But I waited to call Larry, I needed to contact my book publisher, I had questions for our school accountant; I just kept messing around. I'm busier than in the past but I am slow about setting priorities and following through. Tomorrow has always been convenient for me, to my detriment. The scriptures stress that life is best lived with some sense of urgency. The fourth chapter of James reminds us of the brevity of our lives and that we can never predict what tomorrow holds. The lesson is to do what needs to be done in the present. Jesus made this point to his disciples in the story of the Samaritan woman at the well in Sychar. In John 4:35, the Lord told his men to, "open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest." In his previous sentence, he had implied that they took the view that the harvest was four months off so they could bide their time. But in verse 36, Jesus emphasized immediacy by twice using the phrase, "even now." I can always make excuses for procrastinating but I can't overlook the fact that now and tomorrow are not synonyms.
I had a visitor in my classroom during activity period this morning. Gina Teague came in to take a quiz that is on the calendar for Friday. Gina, a wonderful young lady with a creative mind and a brilliant future as an artist, will be out of town Friday. My sophomores are assigned a reading quiz over Luke 18:18-43 on that day. Would I have been two days ahead as a sixteen year old? Are you kidding? I am just thankful I had the quiz prepared and typed out to administer it to Gina! I dodged a bullet this time. I'm sure another will be flying my way before too long. By the way, Gina made an A: what a shock!
Applicable quote of the day:
"You pile up enough tomorrows, and you'll find you have collected alot of empty yesterdays."
Professor Harold Hill (from The Music Man)
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