slow down

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. (Romans 12:18)

Sometimes the task of living at peace with everyone seems impossible.  But then there are other times when the revelation all around me fills me with a humble and sincere desire to live at peace.  I just need to be able to see it.  

8 a.m. is one of the more hopeful times of my daily journey.  Each morning, our team finishes our stand-up meeting where we check in about the day and I then filter my way out to the sidewalk to await the arrival of the heroes.  Will and Stella are often contending to be the first ones to school (We GOTTA go!). That kind of enthusiasm is contagious; to be sure.  

I’m blessed by the privilege of welcoming these heroes to their day.  And at the beginning of the week, I realized that I have the above pictured view each day.  I recalled the movie Smoke written by Paul Auster and starring William Hurt and Harvey Kietel.  In the photo below the tobacco shop owner Auggie explains how takes a picture of his same street corner every day, collecting the photos. 

Sitting there on Monday, I remembered the scene where Auggie shared his collection with William Hurt’s character.  And he gave him this advice, “slow down.” He didn’t want William Hurt to miss anything.  

There’s so much division and fear in our world that most days I could worry and hold grudges and miss the whole day.  Standing out on the sidewalk this week, I try to slow down. I don’t want to miss anything.

I remember.  And I take another picture on Tuesday.

I remember Claire who has come to see herself as a writer.  In her first year in the ES, she has taken hold of her journey as a writer-hero already drafted three narratives in three weeks and is consistently pleading for more time to write during the day.  

I remember again.  And I take another picture.

I see Emmry at my office door with a letter.  The ES heroes are finishing books during their independent reading.  They are reading books they’ve selected.  Now they are reflecting and responding to their texts.  And Emmry has chosen to write a letter to the author of her book.  Positioning herself as one who is able to “talk back” with all the respect and honor that Emmry can muster, she is taking the next step of her hero’s journey as a reader.  

Today I see the moment.  Ms. Sarah has developed a new method for marking growth through the badge system.  They have created buttons for each benchmark (such as writing a narrative or completing a quest or marking a faith milestone or finishing level 2 math) that heroes achieve during their year, this year.  She’s created stoles for each hero on which to button newly earned badges. And I’ve forgotten that today is the first pinning ceremony of the year.

Instead I’m walking to the printer, hurrying to get a bill payment so I can get it in the mail.

The applause stops me.  

And I step in to view the pinning ceremony.  Will is up on the “podium” with his badge being pinned.  

Not my first instinct, I still pull out my camera and I actually document the moment.  Auggie Style.  

I’ve slowed down.  And I get to see the shy smile of a hero that realizes he has taken another significant step on his young journey.

When I see God moving, I gain hope.  When I see God moving, my faith grows.  When I see God moving, I find peace that I can share.  

May we all slow down.  

//Dr. T//

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