Friday, September 23, 2011

One of those days…


In education, as in any profession, there are good days and there are, well, challenging days.  There are days when, no matter how carefully one has prepared or how well-trained one is, things go wrong.  Today was one of those days.  Let me say, though, that I still love my job.  I think the challenges keep things interesting.  I am still absolutely, unequivocally certain that I am right where the Lord wants me. 

The keys to staying grounded while working in Special Ed. are faith, a sense of humor, and the ability to not take the students’ behavior personally.  When kids with special needs get upset, there are a whole list of things that they are capable of doing.  Some are not so pretty.  It takes a thick skin and quick reflexes.  Like I said, it keeps things interesting.

In the real world—the world outside the confines of the classroom and the relative safety of the school—the same rules apply.  Stay faithful, have a sense of humor, and try not to take things too personally.  Today, when driving towards the middle school to pick up my best friend’s daughter, I was challenged in my outlook.  I pass through several school zones on the way home.  I always, always drive 20 miles an hour through them.  I have kids of my own—I don’t mess with that.  Unfortunately, this—ahem—incensed the driver behind me, a man of advanced years.  He honked at me.  He attempted to tailgate me.  Then, he drove up beside me and mouthed a heavy duty profanity at me. 

Where’s my sense of humor?   Gone. 

I honked back, loud and long.  How dare he!  Old man no likey.  He flipped me off!  Wow.  Low class.  I was hot.  A long stream of curses swirled through my brain, followed by the keen awareness that a Concealed Handgun License might not be a good idea for someone with my temperament.  Hmmmm…things to ponder….

Later, I thought about this incident.  I was thinking of the coarse words and gestures he’d used.  I became angry and immediately thought, I’m supposed to pray for that guy!  He’s an enemy of mine, and I’m supposed to pray for him!  Yuck!  Then, I thought, hold up:  I was an enemy of God.  Jesus died for me, despite the fact that I was an enemy of His.  He died for the old guy, too.  It’s funny how the heat of anger can intensify the realization of forgiveness.  Something we know, really know, can have a new significance in the wake of intense emotion.  Like death.  Or birth. 

Do I wanna hang out with Captain Curse-Word?  Oh, heck no.  But, I did pray for him.

Many blessings,


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