This I Believe
I believe my mind and body are the tools I am granted to manifest the glory of God. Since my earliest days my models for living came from scripture and the stories about the lives of saints. I wanted to be like those who had gone before me and tried to emulate their efforts to do the will of God.
At the age of ten I read how the bees flew into St. Thérèse* mouth but did not harm her because she was already God’s little flower and protected by Him. In my childish audacity I wanted to prove He had also called me. I sat out by the hollyhocks with my mouth slightly open. Unfortunately the bees didn’t find me as sweet and one stung me. I was painfully aware at this time I was not one of God’s chosen. I decided I needed to study my catechism in order to grow in His grace.
Somewhere along the path I forgot about my desire for sainthood and struggled with the challenges of adolescence and young adulthood. Later I met my husband and got married, produced two sons and dealt with the issues of establishing a home and creating a livelihood. I returned to school to become a teacher. Every year I was awed by God’s creations as they entered my classroom, Aida, Frank, Thuy, Antonio, Julia, Ryan and so many more.
One day my supervisor said, “I think you need to become a Principal.”
I was afraid, doubtful and resisted her suggestion. Then my younger brother died. At his deathbed I saw his strong, intelligent body unable to hang on to life and realized that our time on earth was not about death but about life and I asked God, “What do I still need to do?”
I heard, “You’ve never tried to be a Principal.” I trusted Him and I applied and was accepted. In this role I had the extraordinary opportunity to work with teachers, parents, and students to create communities for learning.
Last year my older brother and two of my teacher friends died. I reminded myself, “It is not about death but about life.” I asked God, “What do I still need to do?”
I heard, “You need to write.” Without further consideration I retired at the end of the school year. I worried that I was responding to insanity rather than inspiration?
Today I wonder if I sat out by the hollyhocks would the bees fly into my mouth and show me that I am blessed or would they sting me once again to remind me that I am not yet chosen? Whatever the case I know I will continue to study and to do what I can to develop and grow in God’s favor.
I have learned that some of God’s creations are called to take a major role and others to be His witness. Yet, whatever the role and however humble, I believe each is called to manifest His glory in all that we do.
*St. Thérèse* – from THE LIVES OF SAINTS
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