One of Russell’s favorite sayings was, “Nature abhors a vacuum.” It was his smart people sciency way of saying if you don’t do it, someone else will. I don’t know about that nature’s vacuum thing, but if it’s anything like that one I have to use to keep the dog hair and paw mud at bay, I have a love/hate relationship with it. I do know that like in most things, he was so right! I studied in Mark last week, 8:32-33 where Peter takes Jesus aside and begins to rebuke him, after just acknowledging a few verses back that he was the Christ. Peter knew that Jesus was the very son of God, yet he thought he had a right to rebuke him. I read this and think “How in the world could he have the audacity to rebuke Jesus?” But Jesus response after referring to him as Satan (ouch!) is “…you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man”. It’s so easy in education for negativity to set in this time of year. We tend to focus too much on those kids who aren’t where we want them to be, we’ll never get everything in we need to, no one is coming back next year, I can’t do this anymore! But somehow it all works out, therefore — I don’t know about you, but I need to go to detox!
I have to remember that I control my brain; it does not control me. It’s tempting to think of the brain as our control center but Paul tells us he have to take our thoughts captive (2 Corinthians 10:5) and think about what is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8). I get to choose what I think about, what I focus on and nature does abhor a vacuum so if I’m not actively choosing what to think about, I drift to the negative. It’s all horrible, terrible, awful, impossible and despicable. The negative is automatic, it takes effort to overcome. So we must purpose to be intentional overcomers. I have to wake up every morning with my ‘Jack Handy Deep Thoughts’ and claim today as His! Claim the victory that I am assured. Determine to be positive and not sucked in to the default of dread. I have to change my thinking from 28 days to dread to 28 more opportunities to impact the next generation. And that impact goes way beyond the trigonometry, percentages, works cited, digestion or even punctuality. We have less than 28 days to make an impact in their lives this year and then the opportunity is gone. Someone else will step up and fill the void.
The only prisoners you should take today are your own thoughts!