Tuesday, May 1, 2012

What a difference a year makes!

In addition to learning that I just plain suck at blogging (I think of so many things to say but don’t’ spend the time stopping to write them down), I’ve learned a great deal about God’s providence and provision.

A year ago yesterday I walked into the office of my boss and was told that the place that I had poured myself into for ten years was headed in a different direction and I would no longer be a part of it.  I can feel the pit in my stomach today as I type those words.  No warning, no set up, no hype, just those words.  Within a month or so I had landed a job with Colorado Christian University as a professor of communication, director of debate and doing special projects for the President.

Today I was honored with an award voted on by the student body; Faculty of the Year.  Honestly I think the vote might have been fixed.  The runner-up should investigate.  Someone afterward said that I looked surprised.  I was surprised.  After one year?  That just doesn’t happen. 

So one year ago, I felt like my world had been ripped apart. I asked some tough questions of God and He asked some of me.  One of them was to revisit words I had said to students for years; “What are you doing when you feel the most alive? Or the most fulfilled by God?”  My answer is teaching.  I love the classroom and I love the engagement of learning that goes on when students, a teacher, a good text and some powerful ideas collide.  There is magic that can happen. 

During the last couple months there have been a number of challenges that have come up in my role as Chair of The Classical Academy board.  In the days when I have felt beat up by my leadership role, I found myself the next day standing in the classroom at CCU and just filling my soul (and the students were not even aware – they thought they were there for them…)

I have been able to find that “one thing” (Curly talks to Billy Crystal in “City Slickers” about it – watch it sometime) and connect with it.  Additionally I have found myself amongst a wonderful faculty, some stellar students, and being able to follow a leader like Bill Armstrong (former U.S. Senator from Colorado and now President of CCU) has been a huge blessing.  Yeah the drive from the Springs to Denver a few times a week can be a drag (or a real challenge on some snow days).  But the calling that is fulfilled is amazing. 

You also don’t travel that road alone.  I have gained a new appreciation for Team Leland and their support in a year of transition.  When I was out of work my wife, Becca cried with me and then being the “challenger” she is, went to work on a plan on how this would all work.  My boys reacted to the news a year ago differently but positively; from writing a worship song about the experience to plans articulated by my youngest that we needed to open a deli.  Not my sweet spot, but worth considering down the road perhaps. 

God provided perfectly for this season of my life.  I don’t state that in a matter-of-fact way.  I truly believe it.  He is Jehovah Shalom – my peace.  He is Jehovah Jireh – my provider.   He is all of those things for me… and YOU!  Don’t forget it.