Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Sure Promise of Something Amazing

      I am one of those.
      I admit it.  Groan if you like and roll your eyes.  Still, it won't change me :)
      When others complain about how tacky it is that Christmas stuff  starts appearing  in October, I try to act wise, shake my head, and commiserate with my betters.  But secretly, I love it.
     Just as I never tired of snow days throughout my 31 years of teaching. Wiser people than I would shake their heads and say, "I don't want to make up all those days in summer!!"  But to have a really good snowfall, a beautiful blanket of white, an unexpected holiday from school,  a real (but temporary!) chill in the air containing the sweet promise of hot chocolate and a day on the couch watching Christmas movies instead of corralling recalcitrant teens.  Man! I would do just about anything for that!  Snow dance...  Childish prayers...  You name it.  Even dumping homework on the kids the day before the promised blizzard (usually an inch or so in Arkansas...) and telling them that if they had all their homework for the next day, the probability was that it would snow and we'd be out of school.  While if they didn't do their assignments and weren't prepared, it was almost guaranteed it wouldn't snow.  (I never told them that in central Arkansas, it's almost guaranteed anyway that 90% of the time forecasts for snow don't pan out, regardless of what you do or don't do).
     However, more often than not, the breathless anticipation of a real snow day, a getting-out-of-school-early-day, turned into dejected scholars and academic drudgery as snow taunted us by pelting our classroom windows, coating our cars, and then melting as soon as it hit the ground.
    What a disappointment!
    Science 101: water is not snow.  No matter how you slice it:  you don't get rain days from school.  Sad, that... :)
   Still, on those mornings, the kids would come in with updates.  "I heard Little Rock schools are getting out!"  That was usually the first buzz around our high school, implying that if LR was out, then surely we would be next. Only we almost never did get out when LR did. But still, that was the first hopeful sign.
   Then there would be bulletins by late comers.   "My car door was frozen solid this morning and the snow is coming down like crazy right now!"  (Teens... and, um, ahem... one teacher.. run to the windows and draw back the shades at this news!!)
   But these were almost always false alarms.  (The car door just was stuck because the kid had a lemon of a vehicle...)
   Over the years, I learned that the only true indicator of an early-out day was this: if a kid came in and said, "I just heard the principal tell the kitchen ladies to quit preparing lunch!" - I knew that guaranteed we were indeed getting out early.  What joy!!!   Who would have thought that a few simple words:  "Quit preparing lunch!" would bring such excitement!!!  Because that order from the principal was the real deal!  Whoo Hoo!!! We were getting a sudden break, about to bust out of the halls of Academia to do wonderful things totally out of the ordinary...  (Like drive our cars into ditches because Arkansans don't know how to drive on snow...ha!)
    Right now I'm reading through the book of Isaiah, the prince among prophets.
   I can't read it without thinking of Christmas, Handel's Messiah,  the Hallelujah Chorus, and wonderful things that are beyond imagining.
   Some of the passages, which are so beautiful, create within me an excitement, a standing-on-tiptoe, sort of  breathless  anticipation of something that will be better than a thousand snow days.  Something that, when it happens, will not disappoint.
   Some days - actually many days -  I see dark clouds, heavy and looming large over our world. Pain, suffering, violence, depravity,  famine, lawlessness, extreme poverty, and hopelessness.  And I get discouraged.
   But then I remember that those dark clouds, as awful as they may be, hold the promise of something amazing and my heart is lifted up in anticipation.
  The ultimate "snow day", if you will, is coming!

Luke 21:28

English Standard Version (ESV)
28 Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

Isaiah 40:1-5
Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
    and cry to her
that her warfare[a] is ended,
    that her iniquity is pardoned,
that she has received from the Lord's hand
    double for all her sins.

A voice cries:[b]
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord;
    make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up,
    and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
    and the rough places a plain.
And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
    and all flesh shall see it together,
    for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

I Thessalonians 4:16-18
   16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

Therefore... encourage one another with these words...

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE SNOW DAYS! And I'm looking forward to the ultimate snow day, also...:)