Doug Creamer: The end and the beginning
With retirement getting closer, I have tried to begin the process of cleaning out my stuff. Should I bring it home or throw it away?
My file cabinets are really overwhelming. I have worked for hours and days to organize my curriculum. Could I possibly need or use that curriculum again? Deciding what to keep, take, or throw away is very difficult.
So much of what I use to teach is in electronic format that I can put on a flash drive and walk away. There is so much that I have worked really hard to create that is difficult to walk away from. What should I keep? What will I use again? What should I do?
I started working on a large storage cabinet today. A colleague peeked in and said, “I bet some of that stuff hasn’t seen the light of day in 10 years.” I reached in and pulled out just such an item. We both laughed. I was digging through some file drawers recently and discovered a purple ditto paper…many of my younger readers won’t even know what I am talking about. I couldn’t believe it. What was that doing in there?
Today I came home with a bag of plaques and awards I have received over the years. There were also a bunch of wall hangings about teachers and how we touch the world. What am I going to do with all that stuff?
The big question that looms large for me is will I ever need any of this stuff again? Will I do any substitute teaching? Could I fill in for a maternity leave? Or has this chapter in my life come to a close? The answer is only He knows what He is going to
call me to do.
I keep asking God about the next chapter of my life, but He remains silent. Actually, His answer is to enjoy the ride, this last year of teaching. So I have turned my attention to doing just that. I went to my last prom, my last staff development… People keep asking me how many days we have left and I can tell them exactly. I am enjoying it immensely.
Someone asked me today if I was really happy and excited. The truth is that it is a little bittersweet. While I am enjoying everything and laughing a lot with my colleagues, there is this little pain when
I realize that I won’t be around these colleagues and friends any more. I still love being a teacher and I enjoy working with my colleagues at our school. I feel blessed to have been a faculty member at each of the schools that I have taught at over my 34 year career.
I find myself thinking a lot lately about many of my students from the past and wondering what they are doing now. Other times I find myself thinking and wondering about the future. Where is God taking me now? What new adventure awaits me? I know that God has many more plans for my future.
This is where faith comes in. I believe that God led me where He needed me. I know God is going to require me to take new steps of faith in a new direction. I can’t see it yet, but I know there is something God has been preparing me to do. I secretly hope it has something to do with writing, but know that God often has different ideas about what He needs us to do.
Our perspectives are different than God’s because He is looking at something from His kingdom perspective. We look at our own little corner of the world. He sees things broader and bigger, and I have to get my vision aligned with His. I know He is going to show me something and I know that He thinks I am ready. So I purpose in my heart to take the necessary steps of faith to fulfill His purposes in my generation.
I imagine some of you are being asked to take steps of faith, too. I want to encourage you to trust God, pray, seek the wisdom of godly people in your life, and be willing to take the steps of faith that He is calling you to take. We both know that He is guiding us and will be with us each step of the way. There is no fear when God is near. I am expecting an exciting new adventure, but for now, I am thankful that I am getting the chance to enjoy the end of this teaching journey.
Contact Doug at firstname.lastname@example.org