I love little kids.
I love their smiles, their conversations, their entertaining imaginations and happy art creations.
I don’t love their innate selfishness, unreasonableness, nor their sometimes meanness.
This week I was volunteering at music camp.
It was lots of fun, but I’m not gonna lie, I am glad it’s over.
How many years ago was it that I was a sophomore in high school, visiting my big sister at her college, listening to a lecture in a Christian Education classroom?
I knew that day I wanted to go to that school and major in that subject.
In God’s providence that is what I did. I enjoyed learning about children and how to educate them.
I thought I would become a school teacher, but after repeated tries to finish my Elementary Ed degree, I gave up, and just rode the ‘bus’ God was driving.
All along my ‘road’, I have taught at home and church, in schools, and camps like this week, always remembering and giving thanks for what I learned in college.
These past two years I have enjoyed teaching 4 year-olds in Sunday School.
But last month I decided ‘it’s over.’
It was becoming too hard to maintain my joy and patience with all that collective energy.
That phrase expresses mixed feelings. Gratitude and grief.
Like “Good. It’s over. I don’t have to do that anymore.”
Also, “Sigh, it’s over. I am growing older and will most probably not teach Sunday School again.”
Like nine years ago when the hospital chaplain told us our mom had died. The truth of what she was saying shocked me.
‘It’s over! It’s over! It’s over!’ flashed in my brain, and I doubled down to the floor, feeling slammed by a cement block of pain in my gut.
But afterward there was thanksgiving. “For Mom, it’s over. She’s home free.”
That phrase returned last week, as I drove away from the hospice house, knowing I would not see my dear friend again this side of heaven.
‘Augh…. it’s over.’
I wanted to wail.
But crying would have to wait. I needed to get home before dark so I turned on the Direction Lady who lives in my phone.
The very second turn she directed put me on Ebenezer Road.
In that shortcut, I drove past Ebenezer Community Center and Ebenezer Baptist Church.
I didn’t miss God’s message.
Ebenezer is a biblical word, which I ‘just happened’ to have studied recently. It comes from a story in 1 Samuel 7, about Samuel setting up a large stone.
V. 12 says “He named it Ebenezer—’the stone of help’—for he said, ‘Up to this point, the Lord has helped us!’ ”
I had wanted to wail and cry, but God, through the Direction Lady, took me onto Ebenezer Road so I would remember.
My whole life, God has kept me on Ebenezer Road.
And in this section of my journey, the phrase ‘It’s over.’ is coming at me faster.
I was looking for a counter mantra I could tell my brain, and I think ‘Ebenezer’ is it.
Ebenezer. Up ’til now, God has helped me.
And His help is never over.