Swiping bravely at angry tears. Using the back of my sleeve to staunch the unprofessional snot smearing across my face. Unaware of what my mascara may or may not look like. Wishing it wasn’t my school’s superintendent sitting across from me in the hazy afternoon light.
I was angry today. Very angry. I was also helpless. The task assigned to me was one of reconnaissance, not support. I could only ascertain the problem, not fix it. Although the issues may seem inconsequential to someone not employed in the educational arena, my school is involved in a K-12 vertical alignment program for re-acreditation. I am one of the primary cogs in the curriculum development project. Most teachers don’t appreciate the requirements of school certification boards, nor do they have time in the midst of grading and teaching to update, edit, and input seemingly inconsequential data in a frustrating computer software program. And, I had to play the role of diplomat. I aid the administration, yet I am a teacher and understand that the daily grind leaves precious little time to eat and sleep, much less write curriculum. As I traveled from room to room meeting with teachers over the past several days trying to ascertain what the status of each course’s curriculum currently is, I heard from individuals carrying burdens already monumental. I felt the weariness and irritation oozing from their tones. I experienced that ire directed toward me and what I represented – more on their plates.
Whose side am I on? Incredible people are on both. Incredible teams work in my school. Incredible people who are very tired. Incredible teachers. They love the Lord, and they love students. But, who enjoys paperwork or the people who require it?
I can’t think anymore. Tonight, I have to work on a 16-20 page grad school paper that is due in a little over a week. I haven’t even finished researching, much less begun the laborious process of literary analysis. Family is in town, and I yearn to be with them, but I know I must confine myself to productivity. My grandfather is in the hospital preparing to have serious surgery tomorrow unless God performs a miracle.
Yet, I nearly let curse words fly today. I am ashamed of myself. Ashamed that I am so easily shaken and intimidated.
And so, I chose to write in brutal, raw honesty. Today made me want to work at Starbucks where the biggest quandary is whether or not to order a grande or a venti. I’m sorry there is not more polish, but I’m a firm believer that polish is reserved for my Heavenly mansion. Until then, I live in a world of cracks.
Maybe you too are aware of some of those cracks today. Let’s pray. Pray to the God of Romans 8 who says that NOTHING can separate us from His love. Pray to the God of Psalms 1 who says that the godly are planted by streams of living water. Pray to the God of Peace, the God of Reconciliation, the God of the Impossible.
I bow my head and thank my Savior for being bigger than bad days, bad weeks, bad months. He’s big enough to fix me for tonight. The burdens of everyone else’s baggage is too heavy for me to carry and so I release it. Throw it away. Smile. Think about dinner plans. Pray for grad school inspiration. Try to keep the unprofessional snot to a minimum.