Saturday, April 2, 2011


Nancy, beloved bus aide, often has a story. Reid is the last drop off for them in the heat of the afternoon so depending on the length of the tale, Elvira sometimes turns the engine off. Especially on Fridays, it's like gathering at the water cooler with them or Miller time, depending on your prerogative.

This afternooon's report was good. Apparently, the bus broke down in the morning. Never fun, you can only imagine how that unplanned variable could unnerve a busload of half a dozen kids with developmental disabilities. With their various needs, one common denominator is the need for predictability and structure. Nobody does unexpected change well, especially at the end of the week.

Nancy was excited though, "Oh, I've gotta tell you...this morning...the coolest thing! Reid was great."

The bus petered out . . . Elvira's foot to the floor still wouldn't accelerate it. Losing power, she edged to the side of the road registering a mechanical failure. At that point, "Reid stood up with both hands outstretched and declared, 'Remain calm everyone." And they did. Some filed out to play with a neighborly dog. Reid remained in the vehicle (that in itself is a marker). A new bus arrived in due time and off they went for a good day at school, albeit tardy.

Nancy didn't know the British origin of that phrase or that it's been my mantra during times of domestic meltdown for years. Here it hangs in our upstairs hall:

Today, the first day of April, this sounds like victory to me. Not only was Reid able to hold it together and be calm, he also had the composure and authority to pass along his mastery to others. That's a move from surviving to thriving.

My goal used to be keep calm and carry on in the face of chaos. I'm shifting. Now I need to keep calm and carry on rather than leap for joy in elation and awe at the transformation God is bringing about before my eyes.

So, my son, throw yourself into this work for Christ. Pass on what you heard from me—the whole congregation saying Amen!— to reliable leaders who are competent to teach others. When the going gets rough, take it on the chin with the rest of us, the way Jesus did. 2 Timothy 2:2 The Message

See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you.” Isaiah 42:8-10

But the point is not to just get by. We want to live well, but our foremost efforts should be to help others live well. 1 Corinthians 10:22-24

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