Sunday, May 26, 2013

Fifteen

It was fifteen years ago this weekend. On Memorial Day weekend of 1998, I flew to Houston for my job interview at Westbury Christian School. I remember it so vividly. The night before I flew out, I ate dinner with Ken and Barbara Stewart and Barb ironed my clothes for me so I would be presentable. On Friday morning, Nancy Tipps, my assistant coach, drove me to Nashville to catch a Southwest flight to Texas. At Houston's Hobby Airport, Greg Glenn and his precious 4th grade daughter, Amber, met me at the gate which you could still do in those days. Graduation that evening at WCS was like nothing I'd ever seen, in an amazing way. I reconnected with Randy King, a WCS board member and my brother Dave's college roommate. The next day, I interviewed for the job with Susan Woodward, the principal, and Bob McCloy, the school president. That Saturday night, I stayed with Randy and his lovely wife, Diane, the WCS librarian. (Diane and I sat on the same chapel row at Harding and she claims I read the York News-Times during the devotional services. In my defense, I stopped once chapel began....I think.) On Sunday, I went to services in the morning with the Kings and at night with Bob McCloy at Westbury Church of Christ. Afterwards, Bob invited two members, Dick Scott and Ed Montgomery, and me to some little hole in the wall Mexican place in downtown Houston. I spent the night with the McCloys and Bob took me to a little place near the school called New York Bagels for breakfast. (I went and got a cup of coffee there several weeks ago, the first time I had been back, just for nostalgic purposes.) Bob took me to the airport; I remember asking him about dentists and he told me about the father of a WCS student, Charles Campbell, DDS. I arrived back in Nashville on Monday afternoon with Becki Kegley waiting for me along with two awesome girls, her daughter, April, and Kathryn Thomas, one of my basketball players. (When I wrote a book three years later, it was dedicated to Kathryn and co-dedicated to April.) I had a church teenager cookout that night for kids going to Honduras on a mission trip of which I was to be part. That evening, I went to bed completely exhausted from the three day whirlwind trip and not sure of what to make of it all.

You know, I went to Houston that weekend never believing I would take the job and move there. But as I returned to Tennessee and reflected and prayed, it became obvious the Lord was moving me in that direction. One of my favorite players, and the best leader I ever coached, Karie Stewart, now Green, was of the opinion when I moved to Houston it was to find my perfect match who would be waiting for me with open arms. Amazingly, that hasn't happened........yet. But here is what is fascinating, at least to me. There are three of our coaches who I believe with all my heart would have not found their  spouse if you take my moving to Houston out of the equation and all three acknowledge that. Russell, Ben, and Casey- in order of their nuptials- might be married/engaged to other ladies without intervention on my part, without going into details. It wasn't anything I did matchmaking wise but I was integral in their being in Houston or at WCS where they crossed paths with the women they would spend their lives with and share their names with. You know what's funny? Russell was in college, Ben was in high school, and Casey was an elementary student that day I got on that plane. They never knew how their futures were about to shift. But, maybe shift is the wrong word.

I love the story of Boaz and Ruth who as husband and wife became a vital cog in the lineage of Jesus. But for that to happen, there had to be a famine, a family had to relocate to a Gentile land, Jewish boys had to marry Moabite girls.......and then die young. What was left of the family had to move back to Bethlehem, a grieving widow/mother-in-law had to intervene for her widowed foreign born daughter-in-law, an upstanding bachelor had to manipulate Israel's system of inheritance and property, it had to be during harvest time, and the rest is biblical history! Sort of makes my getting on the plane seem inconsequential! But listen to what Paul taught at the Areopagus in Athens:

From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.
(Acts 17:26, NIV) 
I have to believe the Lord wanted me here at this place for the benefit of Russell/Ben/Casey and by necessary affiliation, Shara/Becky/Ashley. The Lord's blueprint may take centuries to unfold and I know many of you, when you stand back and consider what God has done, could tell a similar story. We unintentionally change the course of families simply by living our lives....and by living where He wants and by doing what He wants, even if we don't realize it at the time. And I just thought I came here to each Bible and coach basketball. I was E-harmony before E-harmony!

Applicable quote of the day:
"Sooner or later we all discover that the important moments in life are not the advertised ones, not the birthdays, the graduations, the weddings, not the great goals achieved. The real milestones are less prepossessing. They come to the door of memory unannounced, stray dogs that amble in, sniff around a bit and simply never leave. Our lives are measured by these

God bless,
Steve
Luke 18:1
www.hawleybooks.com
E-mail me at steve@hawleybooks.com

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