Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Lowest Point

Every night after work, I think, “I’m tired.  I just want to go to bed.  Maybe I won’t this is the night I won’t write.”
But here I am so I guess this isn’t the night.  This morning I made a few commitments, one of them being to write ten blogs a week.  That gives me a little leeway in case I really don’t want to write or something comes up that prevents me from writing.  This will be my fifth blog, which puts me a little behind where I’d like to be, so here I am doing my work.  That’s how it goes.  If you have a purpose, if you have a goal, you work on it every chance you get.  I know I could work harder and do more (that’s not the inner critic; that’s the truth), but I also know I’m doing my best.  Despite my reluctance to do anything tonight, I’m here.  Sometimes the best moments come when we’ve decided to do our work despite fear, apathy, or discouragement. 
Earlier this year I taught an after-school math program at a middle school.  The first class was the longest 90 minutes of my life.  I couldn’t get the kids under control.  The second class was only a little better.  The third class was also not much better.  I was actually in the parking lot on the day of the fourth class, with a half hour left before it was time to teach and I just wanted to go home.  After the frustration of the first three classes, I thought it seemed hopeless and pointless and I was going to call in sick.  But I decided to keep walking toward the classroom and give it at least one more try.  That was the day it all turned around.  I was teaching a concept and when I was done, the students applauded.  They applauded.  To this day I don’t know why.  Maybe I explained it in a way they could understand.  Maybe they knew how much I liked them and wanted them to succeed.  Maybe they knew I wasn’t going to give up on them.  Maybe they caught my passion for the subject or my passion for teaching or my passion for seeing them succeed.  Maybe they were happy that I didn’t call in sick.
I don’t know why it happened, but I do know what did happen wouldn’t have happened on any other day but that day.    If I had gone home, I would have missed my chance.  From that point on, though it wasn’t perfect, it was very good.  I looked forward to going and I looked forward to seeing the kids.  I remembered how much I liked that age, how much I loved teaching, and how much I loved seeing students grow academically.   Though I don’t know for certain, I think if I hadn’t shown up that day, I would have lost that class permanently.  Somehow the kids would have known I had given up.  Yes, that’s all conjecture, but I don’t think it’s a coincidence that things changed at my lowest point.
Change often occurs when we are at our lowest point.  We feel like we can’t take any more and things seem hopeless.  But we Keep Going and somehow something changes.  It’s almost a magical process, but I prefer to think of it as God’s grace in order to keep us going.
I wasn’t at my lowest point when I started writing this blog, but I definitely didn’t want to do it.  But I did.

Maybe my Muse and the angels are applauding as I Get Started and Keep Going.