Wednesday, January 27 2021
"This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.”
Note: *For this new year of 2021, the combination of my age (understanding my own fragile mortality), this current and ongoing global pandemic, and most recently the personal loss I’ve experienced of one of my students, has amplified the need to land on one word... #Prepare.
In this "pursuit to prepare" I am determined to dedicate the 52 weeks of 2021 blogging every Week about one aspect of preparation God lays on my heart. This week 4“we prepare”for “work.”
As mentioned in week 1, the word “prepare” means “to establish, fix, prepare, or apply.” It conveys the idea of deliberate effort over a prolonged period of time.
For years, my students heard me say “Its a great day to be alive!” The origin of this “mantra" began one hot August afternoon, on a long walk out to the practice fields for the second practice that day (in the midst of two-a-day practices for football season). The players were dragging, and so was this coach!
And then, from the rear one of my fellow coaches, (Coach Stephens), swiftly caught up and sprinted past us all, exclaiming along the way, “It's a great day for football gentlemen!”
Isn’t it funny, if we are paying attention, even the simplest statements at just the right moment, can challenge us and become a call to action?
As I quickly responded to the coach's exhortation, without thinking, I found myself picking up my pace and breaking into a trot to join him.
From that day forward, I enthusiastically reminded others, in my many roles; as a teacher, coach, assistant principal and principal, (adding my own version), that everyday is "a great day to be alive” to anyone that would listen! When I spoke at FCA or church, I always provided a little extra “intel” telling my audiences that my daily reminder of “Its a great day to be alive” was simply a paraphrase of Psalm 118:24,"This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.”
DADs, if we don’t allow ourselves to #prepare for our work with the appropriate mindset, then our work will soon cease to provide fulfillment. The joy of “doing" becomes a burden versus a blessing. When that happens our opportunities for positive impact is diminished.
So, DADs, I ask these questions in regards to your own work:
What needs your deliberate effort?
What do you need to do to#prepare today to help make it a better place, and to increase your sphere of influence?
When I was the principal, we started a tradition for seniors on their last day of school. A symbolic exercise representing both an end to one part of their lives, and a beginning to another called the “senior walk.” On that final day the seniors would gather in the commons, I would celebrate the legacy they were leaving, and I then shared the emotional story of walking my own daughter and son to the door on each of their last days of school, as both their parent and principal.
I explained with the gathered seniors that once they walked out the door, they could turn around and come right back in, but it would be somehow different. Walking out as a senior, they would then be returning as a graduate.
But before they each individually walked through the door, receiving a hug from me, I read to them from Philippians 4:8, "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
DADs, what if we saw each day in our workplace as a gift and a ministry? What if we were more intentional to live and to share with others the blessings of each day, with the focus on those things “admirable” and “praiseworthy”. Therefore, in our own work, our mere presence would support others to #prepare to be the best versions of themselves?
DADs, maybe we should all stop counting down the days we have to work, and start to #prepare making every day at work count for ourselves, but more importantly for those that we serve and for those working beside us.
To God be the glory!
Dads “get in the game”…
Today is game day…and so is every day…
God gives you! So…C’mon Men Suit Up!