Redeeming Time

Published May 1, 2020 by SMBC

?Don't forget my birthday tomorrow, miss!? a sweet student shouted as I walked down the hall back to my room. I replied, ?No way. See you tomorrow!? Two hours after that short, now bittersweet encounter, the news broke about school closure. Soon after, the decision to close school until April 13 was announced. Now, we are here: school closed for the rest of the year.

At the beginning, the announcement brought a sense of repose to something I had been yearning for these last three years. The demand that goes with this job can overcome one's well-being in many ways and, if not careful, can seep into one's relationship with God. I said on more than one occasion, ?If I just work this Friday through Sunday, I'll be all caught up.? How silly of me now that I think about it. So yes, I was quite ecstatic to find out my break had been extended. Netflix and chill? Bring it on.

About a week after the social distance order was put in place, I was over it. Don't get me wrong; I enjoyed getting to sleep in, eating at my own pace, and wearing pajamas all day. But I also missed my routine. I missed pencils on the floor, half chewed erasers, laughter resonating in the class, and the numerous hugs and smiles I received throughout the day. Around this time, I began reading Pastor Steve's daily devotional and Greg's ?Monday Over Coffee.? Isn't it amazing how our Father refuels us like a shot of 5-Hour Energy? My soul was being fed, and with that the awareness of my surroundings came to light.

Many of my coworkers, friends, and family were in need of this refueling long before this pandemic affected us all. Having the luxury of time has allowed me to share God's word and comfort with friends going through depression, unemployment, and family-in-need across the country. I've stayed connected with my students through TikTok dance videos. I've been given the time to pray for those in need and to share God's Word through our daily devotional with co-workers. It's allowed me to care for my mother and give her body the time to heal and rest which is exactly what it needed. It has allowed me to be present, and that is sweet as honey.

Without a doubt, God uses our mess and turns it into the next Michaelangelo, (or in this case, Basquiat-esque) masterpiece. He's used this detestable virus to bring the globe closer together. He's the Marie Kondo of our lives. The world is cleansing itself, and we ought to let God do the same for us. My prayer is that I live out my faith and my ears are open to God's calling now more than ever.

??For we have many parts in one body, but these parts do not all have the same function. ?In the same way, even though we are many people, we are one body in the Messiah and individual parts connected to each other.? Romans 12:4?5

Shugey Ledezma