Monday, October 06, 2014

The Recommendation


It's that time of year again. That time of year in a school tonight refers to seniors applying to the college or university of their choice for acceptance/admission in next fall's freshman class. I'm in the middle of writing one for Wade and I'm on the clock for Laura and Marie, former player and student coach of mine respectively. Wade's is easy. He's been here for eight years and I've taught him twice as I did his older brother, Walt. He's a well-rounded young man, participating in athletics and active as a member in National Honor Society. He also holds down a job at Southwest Fertilizer showing his ability to prioritize and excel at time management. My favorite Wade observation comes at lunch- he's a kindergarten aide and helps the little ones in the cafeteria. He is very patient, a trait which will serve him well as a daddy in the years to come. The only negative on Wade? Sometimes, he has shirttail issues but he always immediately corrects the problem. I think I'll leave that detail out as N/A.  

Letters of recommendation are woven into the fabric of our society on many levels. How else can you learn about a prospective student or employee without social media eavesdropping or hiring a detective to vet the candidate? (Interestingly, although I consider myself well-read, I don't recall ever coming across the term vetted until the past few years.) I tell my students if they ask for a recommendation, I will be forthcoming in my assessment of them, especially in matters dealing with honesty. Perhaps that is why I rarely am asked to write one for someone I cannot in good conscience put my name behind. Wade/Laura/Marie- NO PROBLEM! These are children I would be proud to call my own....if I had kids!

In the Bible, Paul dealt with an issue concerning letters of recommendation, being required when they were not needed. I love what he penned in 2 Corinthians 3 and verse 2 to the brothers and sisters in the church at Corinth:
You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. 
But Paul doesn't stop there. In verse 3, he expounds, showing the true source of their correspondence:
You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts
WOW. That's the kind of letter I want to be for my students and players and hope they are for me! Not carefully printed on school letterhead but on heart stationery! Not for private viewing by some committee in some college town but by the whole world. And even if rejected here on earth by those who don't believe, accepted where it matters for eternity and not just for four or five years. Where the Alma Mater is the Song of Moses and The Lamb. Where the diploma is more than a piece of parchment framed and hung on a wall to gather dust. Where time will be no more. That's what I recommend.


Applicable quote of the day:
"Write it so that people can hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart."
Maya Angelou

God bless,
Steve
Luke 18:1

www.hawleybooks.com
E-mail me at steve@hawleybooks.com

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