Monday, March 13, 2017

The Ceiling Fan

As you know if you are a regular reader, I spent the weekend before last with my family in Milwaukee at the funeral of my dad’s brother, my Uncle Monroe. The timing of the celebration of his life was terrific for me as I only had to miss half of seventh and all of eighth period Friday afternoon. Unless you have taught, you might not understand that missing school is much harder than being present in your classroom with your students. My seventh period class is composed of all juniors who spend the entire year studying the Gospel books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. As I was getting ready to walk out the door and turn the group over to my substitute, Caleb asked if it was acceptable to me if he could clean my ceiling fan. Over the course of the year, it gets filthy but we rarely notice because it's always running. I gave my consent and forgot about it, trying to get to the airport. But after he finished his quiz and accompanying writing assignment, Caleb cleaned the ceiling fan in Room 258. (I should note here he made a 100% on both parts of his assigned work!) The spotless fan was about the first thing I noticed when I wearily dragged myself into my room at 6:30 Monday morning. It was a good way to start the last week before Spring Break.

There are a great number of things left undone in this world because we think that’s not my job or someone else will take care of it. Most of my students would have noticed the fan was covered with grime but no one else offered to rectify the situation. They may have thought it was the responsibility of our cleaning service or even that I should take care of it as it’s my room. But no one else spoke up. Still, it’s one thing to speak up and another to follow through. Caleb did both. We had a similar example later last week. A number of our high school kids spent six days on a mission trip to Oklahoma City, working with underprivileged children. A number of those students are enrolled in my classes, including three in third period. One of those who did not go was Ethan, a first year student from Vietnam. He took it upon himself to find the e-mail addresses of Megan, Christina, and TaLora and send them the notes we had taken so they wouldn't be behind on their return. You know, maybe I should have thought of that in light of the fact that I'm their teacher. But I was overwhelmed with getting caught up from my unplanned trip and didn't. We're all busy and most of us, I'm convinced, have good intentions but good intentions alone don't solve problems or improve situations. If Jesus had only good intentions, the blind would not have seen, the lame would not have walked, the lepers would not have been cured, the dead would have not been raised, and the good news would not have been preached to the poor. And although there is no record of the Master cleaning a dirty ceiling fan while on earth, John does tell us He cleaned the dirty feet of a dozen guys who walked a great deal between Galilee and Jerusalem. I guess that's close enough.

Applicable quote of the day:

“I love having a ceiling fan, although sometimes I wish he wouldn't cheer so loud when I'm trying to sleep.”
Jarod Kintz

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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