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Middle School Principal's Corner – April 21, 2020

Life Itself Is Grace

It has finally begun to set in for me that this school year is going to end remotely.  I have known for some time that it was likely going to end that way; I guess I was hoping in my general state of optimism for a different conclusion to my time at GRCMS.  But though our school year will end remotely, I will still cherish each and every day from now until this summer.

I miss everyone.  I have the opportunity to see many of the staff frequently in Zoom meetings, but it isn't the same as being at school in person.  And I miss seeing all of the students each and every day.  This isn't how we want to do school.

As I was thinking about this reality above and pondering what to write about for the Home Bulletin, my favorite quote from Frederick Buechner came back to me.  I knew I had already written about it this year, so I looked back to where it was.  The first Home Bulletin of 2020 in January.  I wrote this:

"We also look ahead to what is to come.  The new year often brings us to new resolutions or, in my case, re-visiting old resolutions and focusing on implementing them again.

With our school theme this year about "dreaming small" and doing small things with great love, one of my resolutions this year is to intentionally pay attention to all of the small things in life that God blesses me with and that I can do to be a blessing for others.  

One of my all-time favorite quotes comes from Frederick Buechner, an American author, and theologian; this quote from Buechner fits our school theme this year very well:  

'Taking your children to school and kissing your wife goodbye. Eating lunch with a friend. Trying to do a decent day's work. Hearing the rain patter against the window. There is no event so commonplace but that God is present within it, always hiddenly, always leaving you room to recognize him or not to recognize him... Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery that it is. In the boredom and pain of it no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.' 

Our current circumstances of "stay-at-home" orders and physical distancing have once again shown me the importance of embracing the small but vitally important daily details of life. Doing a decent day's work, phoning a friend to check-in, taking a walk with my wife or one of my kids.  There are so many little things for which I have a renewed appreciation.

This doesn't mean that everything is easy right now.  Some families are experiencing very difficult times.  We need to acknowledge the tough stuff.  And we have to take the time to look out for one another.

For all of us, though, we have to hold on to hope.  I was texting with a friend today whose father has COVID.  She wrote this back: "I praise Him in the waiting."  

I hope that we can take time over this time of quarantine and a slower pace to life to really embrace the reality that "life itself is grace." It is my prayer for each of our students, families, and staff that we praise God for giving us each day our daily bread and for holding us close to Him as we take life one day at a time. 

—Eric Burgess