Almost The End

The End Is Near.

I remember seeing cartoons of a man with long hair and a beard, dressed in a monk's habit with a rope belt and sandals, holding a stick with a sign on it that said just that - The End Is Near or Repent! The End Is Near. I am sitting in my office on this Saturday morning after the MBC&S graduation breakfast as I type these words, and I am clean-shaven, my hair is still short from last week's trip to my sister-in-law's hair salon, and I am wearing new black shoes, a white oxford shirt, and the paints from the black suit I bought last night - my first black suit in all my 48 years on this earth and my first suit in about ten years. I don't fit the image of the scruffy, sign toting hermit, but I am here to proclaim that the End is near. After this Memorial Day weekend, there will be seven more days with the students here at GGCA, and two of those will be half-days. 

Between now and the End there will be the high school graduation where thirteen of GGCA's finest will cross the platform to receive their diplomas and head out to face post-compulsory education life. We will miss them. We will also be saying good-bye to Beverly Tjomsland, albeit temporarily (we think), as she takes a one-year sabbatical from GGCA to live and teach at our sister school in Budapest, Hungary, Greater Grace International School. 

But even as the End also marks the beginning of the New, as we are told by the book of Revelation, we will be saying hello to Mrs. Leah Vanderwalker who will be filling Mrs. Tjomsland's shoes next year, and we are looking forward to getting to know her as a teacher, colleague, and sister in Christ. We have been welcoming the Class of 2023 these past few weeks, getting to know the new faces that will be gracing our kindergarten classroom. If we could tap these little ones as an alternative energy source, we could cancel our BGE service and save thousands of dollars a month. Such eager young minds and open hearts!

I was writing to my friends in the fifth grade class at GGIS, telling them that summer vacation is like pushing yourself back from the table after a big, delicious meal and taking time to digest what you have taken in. Have you seen the old Far Side cartoon with the student raising his hand and asking the teacher, "May I be excused? My brain is full." That's what we have all felt as students at the end of the year, isn't it? We need time away from our studies to let all we have learned settle, so that we can return to the table for a little dessert. I told the GGIS fifth graders that dessert is the summer reading they do, because the just-right books are very sweet and easy to swallow. As I have mentioned in a recent blog entry, GGCA will be having a summer reading program this year, details of which will be sent home with report cards in June. We want to do this, because the research shows that students who do not read over the summer can backslide - lose educational momentum - and put themselves three months behind where they were at the end of the school year. We don't want that to happen, so there will be a required summer reading program where students get to choose from many books to read.

So, the End is near. Jesus could be back for us at any moment, and we want to be found redeeming the time, living like there's no tomorrow and planning like we've got miles to go before we sleep, to quote the poet, Robert Frost. Eternity is just around the corner! I can hardly wait.

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