Faculty Devotions – May 8, 2017
*** It’s time once again for me to lead faculty devotions. It’s always a bit daunting. Here’s what I came up with this time. ***
This devotional is about questions. I’m going to give the answers at the beginning. Here goes…
Isaiah 55:9 – God says, “ …As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Esther 4:14 – “And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”
When crafting a story, writers will often ask the question, “What if…? They’ll explore different scenarios to see how the characters react. They’ll think about choices the character could make that might move the story along.
For example, what if the main character in a story is a 7th grade teacher, say language arts, brand new out of college? What if she feels the need to prove her worth as a teacher? What if, let’s say … it’s the day before Christmas break and, dog-gone-it, no matter what, she’s going to teach that lesson on, oh … how about ‘heroes!’ And there’s a snow storm going on outside… and it’s the last period of the day… and the students are, well, you know… kids. What if, she breaks all her earnest first-year-teacher-rules and… deviates from the plan and tells a story… from her life… what would it be? Who knows? Well, the writer, of course…
In real life we could drive ourselves crazy asking the question, “What if?” What if I would have taken that job in New Jersey 43 years ago? Would my kids be asking for a glass of ‘wooder’ when they’re thirsty? What if I went to that other college? Or didn’t go to college? What if I would have been on I-94 that day, at that place and time when… you know? What if ….
Of course, the ‘what if’ scenarios didn’t happen. However, what if in looking back over the life-paths we’ve traveled, thinking about events that did happen – good and not- our thoughts take us to another question. “Why?”
Why has God blessed us so much with [You fill in the blanks.]…? Why was [you fill in the blanks] taken from us, so soon? Or why was this person placed in my life at that time, that place? Why is this kid in my class this year? Why? Why am I here?
Sometimes, not often, maybe rarely, after a long time, we get, at least a partial answer to the question, “Why?”
I had the privilege of running into a few of my first students. We had a rollicking good time reminiscing, reliving the time they were in middle school and talking about the present. In a quiet moment one of them said to me, “You just don’t know what an influence you’ve had…” Who knew?
Who knows? That goes for all of us. We don’t know… We don’t know to what extent God has used our talents, personalities, love and care to influence the lives of those around us.
Who knows?’ Often we shrug our shoulders, roll our eyes, move on and think about something else. We plead ignorance. Of course we don’t know…. but deep down we do.
God is the master story teller. He knows the beginning, middle and the end of all of our stories. He has been at work in our lives from before the beginning, calling, nudging, pushing or even dragging us, sometimes kicking and screaming, to where we are, have been and will be, for his glory, his kingdom, his loved ones.
‘What if…? Why… ? Who knows…? ” God knows, and gives us what we need to know – “because… who knows but that you have come here ….” – for these students, for the people in your lives, for God’s kingdom – “…. for such a time as this?”