Remembering Charleen

It began as a simple phone call. Charleen was the principal at a local elementary school. She called to tell me that I had the job as her music teacher. With one phone call I began a four year working relationship that I still look back and cherish. To this day I still have contact with her.

Some of the other teachers complained that she woke up in a different world each morning. It was one of the things that I loved about her. Every day was a new day; every day a new beginning. It didn’t make any difference if you had a bad day yesterday and she had to say something to you about it, today was a new day. Your slate was fresh and started clean. She never held a grudge. It was a trait that I admired, especially when it came to a school full of kids and a faculty with all females and one male…me.

When Charleen hired me, she knew that I wanted to be in the ministry. She always told me, “you’ll do more ministry in the classroom than you’ll ever do in a church.” She was right. I look back on those days and realize in some ways I carried more influence for good than I ever have in the church. She knew I also was serving bivocationally in a small congregation and never minded when I had to slip out a little early to attend a meeting or go by the hospital. I was most grateful for her understanding and her support.

Each Friday we received in our box a bulletin with all the announcements for the next week. This was before the age of computers at every desk. She personally typed the bulletin on an IBM Selectric. Remember those? At the end of each bulletin she would write an inspirational thought to her faculty. Some were religious in nature, others were general. Some were directed at teachers specifically, most were about life. I saved them for years. The file has since been lost but I came across a computer file this week where I had typed and saved several of them. I was reminded of those days and cherish her influence on a young man beginning a career in education and ministry. I post one of these for you. Thanks, Charleen, for your part in making me who I am today. You were a great mentor to me. I am forever grateful!

The Future
Probably the greatest shock that ever comes to a person is the realization that the future is now, that he already is spending the time to which he has been looking forward.

The trust is, all of us, young and old alike, are living in the future all the time; today is the future of yesterday.

It does no good to reflect sadly on the days that have slipped by, half-used, half-enjoyed. But we can resolve to do better with the yet-to-be-used, yet-to-be-enjoyed days.

Of course, we have no way of knowing how many of them we shall have, but this much we do know; we have one of them in our grasp right now.

If experience has made us wise we shall manage our life this day in such a way that we may count IT as the kind of a day any intelligent person would be glad to have in his future.

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