Friday, May 15, 2015

The Conversation

Today was the final day of classes for the 20140-2015 school year, the last time I had to speak to my ninety-five plus kids about the Lord. I try to make sure my students understand that their time is limited and we never know how much we have left on our own clocks.The following is about two young men I had in class. One still has time- the other, tragically, does not. This is from September 26, 2006.

Normally, I take a ten minute nap during high school lunch but today I had a visitor in my classroom. One of our students needed to talk. He is a nice young man with a very bright future. Like most of us were at that age, he is searching for his role on this earth. On the surface, he has everything going in his favor but he feels an ache, a yearning for something not easily defined. Something is missing and he knows it. After we went back and forth for awhile, I asked him about his spiritual life. The response was that he knew it was important and he was going to take it more seriously when he got older. We are on very good terms so I asked bluntly, "How do you know you are going to get older?" There was a sheepish grin- he knows I always hammer the brevity of life and the importance of doing what's right in the present, not in some unforeseen future. As the bell rang for the next period, I reminded him I would pray for him and how much I would love seeing him in worship services. Time will tell.

Three hours later as I prepared to leave for home, I was checking my computer when I saw the headline on
Rice DB Lloyd Dies After Collapsing During WorkoutThe story centered on the tragically premature death of Dale Lloyd, a freshman defensive back on the Rice University football team. Details are sketchy about the passing of the nineteen year old Houstonian this morning. Suffice it to say that the dying of any young athlete gives everyone in the sports world pause, particularly coaches and parents. But Dale Lloyd wasn't just another name on a website. He had been one of my Bible students at Westbury Christian School as an eighth grader. An excellent student with very good physical ability, Dale was an outstanding young man from a terrific family. He left after that middle school year, transferring to Lamar High School where he carved out a two-sport career as well as distinguishing himself as a member of Who's Who Among American High School Students and being part of the Mayor's Youth Council. And tonight, Rice University is mourning, Lamar High School is mourning, and his devastated family is grieving. As I type, I think back to that classroom where that young man and I conversed today about the present and the future and I see Dale Lloyd. I predicted in class today that we would have a fire drill this week. The kids agreed. We are required by law to have one per month and we haven't had the September one yet so we will be beckoned to the parking lot sometime in the next four days. That is a very safe prophecy. But life doesn't fall into the category of city ordinances. Its only predictability is that it will end. That's why Dale's death is such a shock. Young people don't die...except sometimes they do. And sometimes we don't grow older.

Applicable quote of the day:
"The Rice Owl family has suffered a devastating loss. Dale was a tremendous person with the heart of a champion."
Todd Graham/ Rice University Football Coach

God bless,
Luke 18:1

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2 comments: said...

Coach Hawley, thanks for sharing (as always). A loss such as that hits home even harder when you've personally been given the opportunity to be in that person's life.

Jon said...

That story was so sad.... I cant believe he went to WCS