Scripture for Reflection – Joshua 3:13

When the soles of the feet of the priests who
bear the ark of the Lord,
the Lord of all the earth, rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of
the Jordan flowing from above shall be cut off; they shall stand in a
single heap.”

Reflection – Purpose – Part II of III – Calling

The headline in yesterdays ‘Local and State’ section in the
Dayton Daily News proclaimed, ‘Enrollment higher than expected’. The story told
how enrollment for the summer session at Sinclair Community College was down
30% compared to the same period last year. Of course, this was attributed to uncertainty
fueled by the pandemic.

The article went on to say how the faculty and staff went to
‘heroic lengths’ to get enrollment back up. They converted curriculum to online.
They called every student to check on them and their families. They informed
the students 1,300 classes would be offered. And they passed along information
about financial aid. This did seem like ‘heroic lengths’ to me. After all this
effort, enrollment only slipped 2%.

I like to say numbers are clues and not answers. Yes, the
numbers slipped 2 percent. But like so many other situations during this
pandemic, heroic efforts are inspiring us, and showing how adversity can bring
out the best in people. We are experiencing losses but witnessing winners.

People attend college or vocational schools to become
skilled, to live out their passion, and to provide a better life for themselves
and for their families. They make sacrifices of time, funds, and emotional and
mental energy to get where they hope to go. For these students, moving forward
is very important.

Joshua was passing along a word from God about how the people
would enter the promised land. It was bad timing, the time of year when the water
ran high in the Jordan River. Crossing it would be difficult, if not
impossible. Divine intervention would be needed. Heroic types would need to
risk the rushing waters to stem the flow. The priests were asked to do just
this by God.

I cannot help but think these teachers at Sinclair, and
everywhere really, are like those priests who stood in the Jordan, holding back
the water, so God’s people could enter the promised land. When people have
passion for their profession, coupled with compassion for the individuals in
their care, ‘heroic lengths’ almost become likelihood.

I can think of no greater hope for students pursuing a career
than for them to be passionate about what they do, and to be compassionate
towards those who will benefit from their labors. Isn’t it great they have
teachers to show them just what that looks like.


God in heaven, God who calls us, God who wants to draw the
very best out of us, we give you thanks for those who in difficult times
continue to find ways to do their job, and to love the people around them while
doing it. We thank you Lord, for the inspiration they bring. Lord, help build
our passion and compassion, so we may serve your people faithfully, and help
draw them into the fullness of life you hope and dream for them. Amen.