the first month, in retrospect…

…then I looked up and saw that a month had passed. `Tis a strange thing, Time.

I am amazed that so much of its passage should hasten beyond my notice… and yet, I marvel that it has only been a single month and not several. Such is the substance of this arduous task.

Though only some thirty-odd days have come and gone, I feel older and blurry around the edges. Taut, yet pliable… like the gnarled and powerful hands of my Grandfather. A soft quiet that belies a strength hidden within. Weary, and thin… like butter scraped over too much bread. Gladness. A delight, sublime.

I could hardly begin to catalogue and enumerate the sweeping changes that have occurred o`er this duration. I would find it easier to attempt to distill the gradual nuances of the late Winter squalls and the tones of early Spring blossomings that each April day has shown, than attempt to quantify the manifest of the first month of my administration as Director of the “Van Brocklin” Boys & Girls Club.

Among the abundance of each day that shall be lost to the dimness of memory and time, there are a few glimmering trifles that I wish to record. Not so much for any grand significance in themselves, but in their distinct preciousness to me…

The first of which being lifted in up in ardent prayer by the beloved Brethren of my local assembly in this endeavor. Word about my new position spread quickly around the church, and I suddenly found myself being lovingly “accosted” by the members of the leadership and congregation.

I must say, any personal inclinations of mine towards the “holy nod across the room” melted under a barrage of embraces and moments of prayer. Rather than even defer to the convention of simply telling me: “I`ll pray for you” I had people asking to pray with me right on the spot, on one instance even kneeling with me right in the vestibule of the Fellowship Hall.

While my descriptions might paint a picture of religious ostentation, I must say that the occasions lacked any such vain pretense. Knowing the perilous nature of the task before me, their concerns (and actions) seemed motivated more out of a love for me and my family than any vile self-aggrandizement. It is also marked by its consistency, as all of my success and adversity is shared among the tender hearts of the Brethren.

Secondly, I was delighted to find how many of my co-workers boldly claimed the name of Christ and sought to consecrate their work to His glory… that is to say, all of them. Among the staff and administrators of our county, the teachings and example of Jesus is at the forefront of what we do. As the CEO himself explained to me: “Without Him as our foundation, our mission, and our aspiration, nothing we do has any meaning.” Verily, this philosophy permeates our organization.

Each of the clubs in the various communities has strong bonds with local churches and ministers, Bible studies are an integral part of weekly program schedules, evangelists and ministers are frequent speakers at club functions, and an attitude of service surrounds the entire culture of this company. After slogging it out in the secular artifice of Public Education and being inundated with the mind-numbing madness of Academia, I feel that I have found a means of employment in which I can find a home.

Lest I seem all too starry-eyed, let me also state that I am aware of the “wolves among the sheep” that have always plagued GOD`s People. There have been and there always will be “rats in the corn” but I can also say that, whatsoever their presence and influence, it has waned such that it is either far too subtle to be quickly discerned or simply awaiting a suitable time to emerge. Time will tell…

The last trifle I wish to chronicle would be the fruition of my vision.

In the first week, I hid in the shadows and walked silently behind the scenes. Listening. Observing. Making careful and copious notations on anything and everything that struck my attention. I made no action or interruption in all that I witnessed. Making myself invisible, I saw everything with pristine clarity. I broke it all to pieces before I bent it to my awe.

Having diagnosed every possible ill, I set about with a course of action to heal the pervasive sickness during my second week. Aggressive and drastic interventions were prescribed. Rotten limbs were cut away, infections were purged, walls and floors were bleached, weeds of dissent were crushed and sown with salt. I began to salve old wounds, even as I crushed bones with a soft tongue.

With this harsh crucible endured, life began to flower again. As the bitter tears of dying Winter`s rain faded into the warm Sunshine of a Spring renewal, fresh growth bloomed in verdant radiance. I rebuilt the foundation upon the chief Cornerstone and brought with me the skilled laborers of my own discernment. New faces and zealous hearts, aflame with a desire to serve. Some young, some old… but all of them claim a new Birth.

Here I stand, after only the span of a month, reveling in the miracles of His providence and the glory of His commission. With my brigade straining in their slips as greyhounds, we are prepared to march onward.

Our time is at hand, and so I cease my meandering to return to all of The Work that must be done.

Soli DEO Gloria.

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