Wednesday, February 13, 2019

The Crossing Of Paths

I constantly preach to my students that something may have happened today that will alter their lives and that of their yet to be born kids but they can't be aware of it yet. This is from February 9, 2011.

I gave Mallory a ride home from school this afternoon. Her grandmother sent a message asking if I could help out with the transportation and I was happy to oblige. Mallory lives nearby and the journey only lasted several minutes. I asked how her transition has been to Westbury Christian after her enrollment at semester from a big public high school. She told me she loves WCS and 'I'm not just saying that because you're one of the teachers!' After Mallory was safely dropped off at her door, I told Greg Glenn, our Executive Administrator who was riding with us, that this young lady is the product of generations of Christians. You see, I don't know Mallory well but there has never been a student at any of my schools whose family intersected mine and influenced me more than hers. The funny thing is, I doubt she really is aware of it.

You see, Mallory's mother grew up around the corner from me in a small town in Nebraska where we went to church and school together. Mallory's mom, Marsha, and her three sisters were part of my life since I can remember. Mallory's grandparents were my folks' dear, dear friends, even convincing them to move from Nebraska to Lubbock, Texas. Mallory's grandfather was one of my college professors and her grandmother was a second mother to me when I was just a squirrelly kid. Mallory's dad went with me and negotiated a new deal on my car, saving me from my own automobile ineptitude. Her second cousin was the first hero in my life and was my American Legion baseball coach. Her great uncle was the reason I became a teacher in general and a history teacher, specifically. When I began my teaching career at a tiny Christian school in south Georgia, I stayed for the first several weeks after my move with her great grandmother, one of the kindest people I have ever met. I could go on- like how I set one of her aunts up with one of my college basketball teammates- but you get the point. Relatives Mallory doesn't know have changed the direction of my life and helped guide me down my sometimes winding road to maturity.

It's funny. My parents had several options when they moved to Nebraska from Brooklyn when I was four years old. If they had decided on any of the other cities, I know the Lord would have worked through them still but their lives would have not crossed paths with Mallory's family...and neither would mine. Who would have given her a ride home on a blustery day in Houston with the skies threatening sleet? As we conversed this afternoon, Mallory and I reminisced about being fellow alumni of Nebraska Youth Camp, a summer get together for kids hosted by members of the churches of Christ in Kearney, Nebraska where not coincidentally, I was a fellow camper with Mallory's mom, dad, and her aunts on both sides. We tried to explain to Greg the allure of a little Bible camp out in the middle of nowhere, an encampment with few modern amenities but more than fifty years of history to a small group of ex-campers. I don't think Greg really got it but I guess you had to be there. That's the point- since early childhood, Mallory's family has been there for me. In a big, big world, we have traveled down the same roads more often than not. It's not a maybe, or a probably: it's an absolute. The Lord has plotted the road map that has turned into my life. I hope I still have significant miles to go.

Applicable quote of the day:
"The great gift of family life is to be intimately acquainted with people you might never even introduce yourself to, had life not done it for you."
Kendall Hailey

God bless,

Luke 18:1
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James Oh said...

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T.J. said...

Great post, but your ending about the miles was especially wonderful!!

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