I thought I could cruise to and through my last day, but its obvious that it will not be the case. I woke at 3:00 a.m. and began writing emails to my colleagues at CCS, thanking them for their role in my life. Now its 4:00 and I am reaching for the words I would like to say on my last day.
When there is a void of communication and relationship, often fear and misperception can take its place. I really am not the angry, dangerous person that I am perceived to be by some. I am learning that the blogworld and my words here can present me that way without real relationship to back it up. I am a passionate Irishman to my core and say things in heated moments that when taken out of context, can be damaging. But those who know me, know that I say those things because i care, i care about the hearts that are around me and when they are hurting, I am hurting. There is an unfortunate misperception, that I am a danger to the Gospel or the teaching of Christianity. That my lack of conservatism is an indication not of Biblical and theological reflection, but an undercurrent of New Age spirituality. I have nothing to hide and welcome any specific concerns or questions, but the perception remains. My only response is that the best way to know where a tree gets its nutrients is to look at its fruit. If the tree bears fruit that looks likes Jesus, then it must be connected to the Vine that is Jesus.
I have friendships with fellow teachers, past graduates and present students at CCS that have just filled my heart over and over. (Man, I'm so sentimental right now) There have been classes where the exchange of dialogue around the Kingdom of God and Scripture with students was so energized tht we could have had Bible class all day into the night. Those are the teaching moments I will cherish. Just seeing in the eyes of students that they "get it" has been the most fun. i state on the 1st day of class each year that "Community is the best enviorment for real learning" and we have found that to be true. My new position will be quite different, where most of it will be done in an administrative role. I know that I am going to miss the classroom a lot. I am going to miss high school students, I truly love that age of transition. It takes a while to earn their trust, but when you do. they are sponges for learning.
This is going to be a difficult day, more difficult than I anticipated. I am not just leaving a job, I'm leaving a ministry. The words that have been spoken to me in person, in email, in cards, in letters etc. have been so deep, heartfelt and exhilirating to read. My love-language is "spoken words" and I am so full right now my cup is running over. I have such deep satisfaction in the fruit I see in students that I could write a book on it, and maybe I should :) Farewell, CCS. I am rooting you on from a different role now. May His Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.
His Kingdom is exploding around me today.