On one hand this has been a very exciting week and a half; on the other, it has been terrible. Why the discrepancy? My answer hinges on the idea of strength or the lack-thereof; hinges on pride & on the things I take for granted; hinges on a new take on powerful words from 2 Corinthians 12:9-10,
‘My grace is sufficient for you, for [M]y power is made perfect in weakness.’ … For when I am weak, then I am strong.
It all started with me getting the flu. Bad. I got it bad. My oldest daughter has a rough cough now and my wife had this flu a few weeks ago – it was nasty. But now it was my turn. This is certainly the ‘terrible’ part of this week. Due to my illness I had to cancel two Pro-D sessions I was supposed to deliver, I couldn’t attend my own staff Pro-D day, and I’ve had to spend the last 6 school days away from school. So, clearly, in my own strength I couldn’t do what I wanted and needed to do.
Yet, in the midst of these negatives, I have a new, real-life take on the Lord’s words to the Apostle Paul, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for [M]y power is made perfect in weakness’. That is, I have actually had to finally give up and put aside the pride I held in my health and have needed to allow time and rest to strengthen me. Also, because I haven’t been able to complete my responsibilities on my own, I’ve needed the help and support of others (see below). I’m coming to terms with the fact that I don’t need to over control and over worry about my little areas of influence, nor do I need to hold them as tightly as I often do.
What is more, when the Bible says, ‘For when I am weak, then I am strong‘, I’m really coming to hear the implied intention that weak refers to human terms and means and strong refers to Divine terms and means. But, isn’t it just like God to blow our socks off when we are least expecting it? In my human weakness during this time of the flu, God highlighted such a dream-team of people around me to help share the load, to bear one’s burden, to help-a-brother out, to ensure that the show must go on, to press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Okay, perhaps too many references there…but here are the people who I would really like to thank for their over-and-above service, help, and above all collaboration this past while.
Collaboration In Action
Rather than having my Pro-D sessions cancelled, a good friend and fellow colleague, Richard Bitgood, offered to lead the first session. As a keen GoogleDocs user, Richard was a natural and the session went well. Christian Klaue, Principal of Maranatha Christian School in Williams Lake, BC, summed up the session fittingly:
On the school-front, a huge set of thanks and gratitude is needed to the following three individuals for covering my load in addition to their regular duties: Pat Hayden (blog), our Lead Teacher when I’m away; Matt Dorie, our Lead Middle School Teacher, and Steve Cox (blog) our long-standing Elementary Principal who is the managerial back-bone of our school.
My parents showed up with food on multiple occasions and also helped looked after the kids – always a huge help.
But, by far the most important collaborator, tirelessly shining day-in and day-out, is my better half, Christina. She was out with this flu for 8 days in September and, now having gone through this also, I cannot fathom how she did so while caring for our two kids.
All these people have played a collaborative role in my life in the past short while. As I reflect on this post, I am reminded of the team-like aspects that life holds. I am reminded that true community is relational. I am reminded that I have been called and therefore must continue to strive to be a true team-collaborator – looking to serve where needs present themselves.
When was the last time someone ‘picked you up’? Or unexpectedly went beyond the call of duty or expectation? How did that make you feel? How do you feel about the idea of, ‘paying it forward’? Thanks for reading, and I look forward to edugleaning from you!