December 20, 2017

Advent 2017

"What Was Supposed to Happen"

When people ask me what I do, and I say teach, they inevitably ask "What grade?" When I say high school, the overwhelming response to that answer is basically pure horror. No one ever responded like that when I was teaching elementary school.

When I signed up for teaching as a career, and started my career teaching fourth grade, I planned on being an elementary school teacher for thirty years and then enjoying my retirement. However, when Keith and I decided to move to Savannah and I quit my job without a job in this city, I got a very unexpected and scary job offer. I was offered the position of Early Childhood Education Instructor at a brand new high school in Beaufort County. For the first couple of weeks on my long drives home, I would be in the car asking myself what I had gotten myself into. Now in my eighth year of teaching high school, I can't imagine working with any other group of kids. As Eckart Tolle puts it in A New Earth, "what was supposed to happen, happened." As it turns out, I discovered that I was always meant to teach high school students. There was really no other way I could have ended up in my position except by exactly how all of the events transpired. Sometimes we are confronted with scary change, but it ends up being exactly what we needed to get us where we are supposed to be.

I don't know what it feels like to be faced with news of an unexpected child, but I can imagine it would be a lot scarier than a job change. However, in the story of Jesus' birth we are shown that Mary found a way to embrace the change, even as scared as we might imagine she was, and in turn, was a part of changing the world.

-- Emily Richardson-Dion

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