Saturday, May 23, 2009

My “burden”

It is so frustrating when something bad or unpleasant happens to you and you are all but certain your race has played a factor in the negative occurrence, but there is absolutely no way you can prove it.

Sometimes I feel being Black is a burden.

Sometimes it makes me angry.

Most of time, I just feel sad.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

One more week…

…and then, I’ll once again be a part of “the unemployed”.

I’m trying to stay positive. At this moment, I’m not succeeding.

I’m thinking about the sovereignty of God over all, even the minute details of our lives. I know God—my Father—is good. He does what is right, and He is trustworthy.

I know that God is with me and will never forsake me. Whatever my family or I will experience, wherever this journey will take us, I have my Father’s word that He will be there.

Yet, I cannot help but humbly ask, “Why?”

I think this is why believers must keep an eternal perspective on life. The fact is, we’re not in heaven yet. In heaven, there will be “no mourning nor crying nor pain anymore” (Revelation 21:4). But, we’re not there yet. Right now, we will experience pain and disappointment and sadness. That’s why I have no use for prosperity preachers and their doctrine. The message of “prosperity” that is most often proclaimed over television and radio (and in far too many churches in the Black community, I must add) is a cruel doctrine. It is not biblical; it bears no relation to real life.

The Bible, on the other hand, is true to life. The Bible says, “In the world you will have tribulation” (John 16:33). It says that “through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22). I’ve lived long enough to be able to say (like you sometimes hear in the Black Church), “I know that’s right.”

Real life, in a sinful, fallen world, where there is pain and suffering, sickness and death, disappointment and sadness…and unemployment…makes heaven appear more precious to the believing soul and helps rid the heart of that soul-shriveling love for the world.

I feel a little better.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Today was the day

Well, I did it. Today I explained to all my students why I chose to resign as their choir teacher.

Back in February, I mentioned that I had entered a period of personal trial. That’s because, in February, I submitted my resignation, effective at the end of this school year, which is now only 2 ½ weeks away. I came to the realization that I couldn’t win when administrators and others insist on giving more credence to those who will only criticize me behind my back than to the vast majority of students and parents who have spoken well of me and given me so much support over the past two years. Some battles just aren’t worth fighting, so I quit. Since February, however, a rumor has circulated that I had been fired. Today, I decided to take time in each class to dispel that rumor and explain the real reason I would not be returning another school year.

Last night, my students presented a wonderful choral concert, the final concert of the school year. The progress that my choirs have made in only two years is truly remarkable. I’ve worked hard, and I’ve done good work. By the grace of God, I have been an effective teacher.

At the end of last night’s concert—and tonight at a choir awards banquet—the students and their parents gave me a warm and touching send-off. I’m thankful that tonight I really, truly felt appreciated. I also believe I have, indeed, made a positive difference in the lives of the vast majority of my students.

Yet, by the end of this month, I’ll be without a job. How ironic.

What gives me comfort is the word of God. Psalm 31 has been on my mind lately. My wife and I are quite aware of the economic situation, but I continue to look to Him who has always provided for my every need. All my help comes from the Lord, and always has.

Continue to pray for us.