Saturday, January 14, 2017

And Who Are You?

It was a good day at Westbury Christian School. Both our girls' and boys' varsity basketball teams won their early afternoon games versus St. Agnes and Emery-Weiner, respectively, with a good crowd in attendance. But the reason for the uncommon matinee schedule was the dedication of our gymnasium, renaming it in honor of long-time WCS board member/basketball coach/head of school, Robert O. McCloy. Bob was credited in the ceremony for saving our school when it was on the verge of closing roughly thirty years ago, standing up in a parents' meeting when the trustees announced the doors were being shut forever. There would have been no today at WCS if not for that day. Bob hired me nineteen years ago, convincing me to come to Houston, a move I could never have foreseen. Over the years, I found him to be incredibly insightful, seeing trends and possibilities it took me several more years to comprehend. During my time here, I've been blessed to teach four of his grandkids and work with his wonderful daughter, Kelly, who is the administrative assistant in our athletic department. Like I said, today was a blessing for those in the Wildcat family.

During our girls' game, I was standing with Mike White, our current head of school, a bit removed from the baseline. Mike came to WCS one year before I did. We've taught together, coached together, and done mission work together. When I say Mike has filled every position at WCS except cafeteria chef, it isn't much of a stretch. As we talked, a good number of others were mingling in the area. A gentleman who I took as an alumnus pre-dating the two of us stopped adjacent to Mike, who extended his hand. The gentleman asked, "And who are you?" I kind of turned away and grinned. Mike was gracious and introduced himself to the stranger. In his defense, the guy we didn't know was in no way being obnoxious or jerkish- he just was curious about the identity of Mike, who was resplendent in his Joseph A. Bank suit/shirt/tie. Mike and I shared a laugh later- maybe he needs to start wearing his name-tag to all of our school functions!

Who are you? It's a legitimate question. This week, I was walking down our intermediary hallway and a lady asked me if I was the baseball coach. I was once- not here- but I explained that distinction belonged to Coach Smith. Maybe I seemed like a coach to her! A long time ago, the religious leaders asked John the Baptist who he was and he had an answer. Well, first he had to clarify who he wasn't- the Christ, Elijah, the Prophet. But when he did answer, he answered by quoting the words of Isaiah 40:3, that he was the voice of one calling in the wilderness. That's a pretty good source for identification. What would I say if I was asked my identity? I'm a coach? I'm a teacher? Actually, I like the Monkees' musical answer: "I'm a believer!" I can't just be a name- there are at least twenty other men in the US with my name and I know because I wrote a blog about it years ago. I just can't be a title based on an occupation- those roles are temporary. My life must be defined by my relationship to the Lord. Nothing else matters. I was thrilled for Bob today in having a building named in his honor, an honor most never receive, especially when they still walk among the living. But today's recognition for one Robert O. McCloy  happened ultimately because of the eternal name that he bears; child of God. We might want to add those three words to the plaque. 

Applicable quote of the day:
“Define yourself radically as one beloved by God. This is the true self. Every other identity is illusion.” 
 Brennan Manning

God bless,
Luke 18:1
E-mail me at

No comments: