Does anyone else feel like we are in a sci-fi movie? A mysterious virus emerges from nowhere, threatening our entire way of life. All of the elements are present, from the villain to the horrific fatalities. Covid-19 is the villain and we are all in the fight of our lives. Then, there’s the ongoing fight against social injustice that poses yet another threat to our way of life as well. Not to mention, the threat that faces our education system which is the very foundation of our land. This year has brought one crisis after another, and it begs this question—How will we emerge from 2020?
Will we throw in the towel, wave the white flag, or will we mobilize our troops and forge ahead with a plan to win?
There’s one thing I want you to realize at this very moment—we are the indispensable human race and we were created to forge ahead! We will not give up, and we will not throw in the towel! We must take care of ourselves, our families and help others when we can. We will keep fighting against every single villain that comes our way! We must not be divided by hate and discrimination. We must mount up our wings like eagles! We must unite and dig deep into our arsenal of strength, courage and grit with every ounce of our being! And when we do, we will emerge stronger, better and wiser! We must make it our goal, to be able to look back on this time in history and say, “We didn’t quit, we didn’t give up, we fought back, and we won!
When life throws curve ball after curve ball, you have two choices. You can either thrown down the bat and walk away, or you can keep on swinging. If you think about it, this is the choice we are faced with every day. In a world of negativity in which we find ourselves in, we have to make the right choice. My husband and I were recently in a spot where we had to make a choice. We had a family member who had a child who was having a tough time in school. Of course, me being an educator and him being a minister, we knew we had to step in. The boy is only in elementary school and we realize this is a crucial time for him. We also know that the “Pipeline to Prison” is a very real thing in the African-American community, and for young boys if no one intervenes for them, that is the path they will be on.
Therefore, we decided to intervene and we brought him home right after Thanksgiving. (Which is why I haven’t posted in a while) Yes, it has been quite an undertaking. We forgot what it was like to have a little one in the house again. Fortunately, our teenagers all chip in, and we are making it work for him. No matter how the days go, we know what our goal is: to keep him on the right path and out of the prison population. All that to say, when you see negative situations around you, sometimes you are called to intervene–and in those times, you must! Nonetheless, there are some key nuggets I want to encourage you with today, about how to stay positive in a negative world:
Set some personal goals (long term and short term) and have some fun pursuing them every day
Find something to be thankful for in your life and focus on the good
Be Constantly Prayerful
Rely on the truth of your faith to guide your thoughts
Be Consistently Relentless
Decide that no matter what, you are not giving up on yourself or your goals
Be Driven by Love
Let love be your guide in your interactions with others
Be encouraged friends, and keep on swinging that bat–you are bound to hit something if you just keep on swinging!
Yesterday, as I was frantically trying to plug in my curling iron, I was having a little trouble. I plugged it into the first outlet, and I didn’t see the light come on. I tried it in another one, and I still didn’t see the power light come on. Then, I thought, “I guess it is either broken, or we have a shortage problem”. Finally, I tried it in one more outlet, but this time I grabbed my eyeglasses. As soon as I plugged it in, instantly I saw the red power button. You see, it worked every time I plugged it in previously. However, the last time I plugged it in I actually saw the light because I looked at it closer, carefully and with a different set of eyes. I pray this will be true for you today. Maybe you have looked at this scripture before in Matt 9:36, or even heard it before, but today we are going to look a little closer, with a different set of eyes. It says,
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
He “Saw” them…
In this scripture, Jesus saw the crowds… Stop! Let’s pause right there for this message today. First of all, he “Saw” them. Don’t go too fast past this word. You know how you can see somebody sometimes, but then other times you can really “See” them. In other words, sometimes it is a casual glance that doesn’t mean very much, and other times it is an emotional, or spiritual connection when you can truly “See” them in a different way. So in this scripture, when Jesus saw the crowds, that was only the beginning of what he was about to do for them. He didn’t just give a casual glance, he stopped and took positive actions.
Friends, sometimes your kids just want to know that you “See” them. Many of them are so desperate to be noticed by someone, especially their teacher. I know you’re thinking, “I’ve got too many kids to try to stop and “Notice” them. I hear you. But I just want you to consider what those crowds must have felt like, when they heard that Jesus was doing all kinds of teaching and healing in their town. They began to follow him and gather wherever he went, just for a chance that he might notice them. They were desperate to be seen by him, because they knew if he saw them he would change their situation.
Colleagues, I submit to you that your kids are just as desperate to be seen by you. They want you to call them by name, notice their new shoes or their new haircut. And let me just tell you, God saw you first, when he put you in the lives of your students. It is no mistake that you are where you are! And even though they will never say it, your kids are so glad that you are there. You see, just as those crowds were desperate for Jesus’ teaching, your kids are desperate for your teaching too! That teaching, or whatever it is they are supposed to get from you at this time in their life, just might be the ray of hope that they are searching for. And if Jesus, the master teacher, thought it was important enough to stop and see the crowds…surely, we as those who desire to learn from him, will deem it just as important. So, if we, in the midst of all the demands of our sometimes overwhelming responsibilities, can pause and make one student feel like we “See” them, then we have humbly followed the footsteps of the master teacher.