Let’s See What You’re Made Of…

I want to jump right into the prompt from today’s Daily Post.  At first I wasn’t sure I’d be able to think of the right situation to discuss.  Then I thought back on my day and realized I have a perfect example in my job.  In fact, it dawned on me that I have three good examples.  Take your pick.

Tell us about a time when you were left on your own, to fend for yourself in an overwhelming situation — on the job, at home, at school. What was the outcome?

Head of the Class

Ten years ago I stepped out of the glamorous world of television production and into a high school classroom as a teacher.  It was a significant career move for me in many ways, primarily because I had never been a student in a high school.  I had been home-schooled.

On my first day on the job, after a one-day orientation, I was shown to my classroom by a colleague.  It was at the end of a long hall on the second floor of our building.  I waited for the first bell to ring as the room filled up with the most terrifying sight you will ever see.

25 high school freshmen!

teachers desk

To you, a desk.  To me? Fear incarnate.

The bell rang.  I looked down for a bit at my shoes, said a prayer silently, and looked up, fully conscious of the fact that somehow or other the next 45 minutes was likely going to determine whether I could actually do this.

I stumbled through that period.  I don’t remember what I said or what I wrote on the board.  I think I stopped sweating right before the end-of-class bell rang.  And somehow it didn’t kill me.  I don’t remember thinking “I like this” or “I’m going to be great” but clearly I didn’t walk off the job.

The Marrying Man

One year later, I walked out of the sacristy with my brother and my brother-in-law, my two best men.  We stood at the foot of the sanctuary and waited as the two matrons of honor processed slowly down the very long aisle of the church.  These two guys standing at my side were men with whom I had been privileged to develop close friendships over the years.  I wasn’t nervous to enter marriage.  I looked forward to it very much.  Still, it was nice to have the moral support of two brothers standing up for me.  It’s as if their presence was meant to say “Hey, Soon-to-be-Mrs-Harvey, this guy’s pretty awesome.  We wouldn’t be wasting our time standing here if he wasn’t.  You are one lucky, lucky woman.”

As the door of the church closed briefly and then opened again, I caught sight of the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen.  I’ll never forget that moment.  And I’ll never forget the sudden sensation that my two best men had stepped back and walked away!  Not one but two dudes left me totally on my own.  Thought they were supposed to be moral support…  My wife made it down the aisle.  The sense of isolation I felt only lasted the duration of her march to the altar.  In those three minutes the feeling of being tossed out there like a fish out of water quickly turned to anticipation.  “When would this procession end?  I can’t wait.  I’m not going to be ‘just me’ much longer.  I wouldn’t have it any other way!”

How’d that turn out?  8 years, two kids, and a whole lotta’ memories later I’d say being left to fend for myself those few moments at the altar – realizing it was just me – turned out just fine because it provided the starkest contrast between my single life and the “two become one” situation upon which we were about to embark.

Just Running for a Few Groceries

The other day my wife went out to the store for some food items.  She left me at home.  The kids were visiting their granny.  The dog was sleeping.  I was hungry.  I was left to fend for myself, alone.  It was sad.

Fortunately she came home soon and fed me.

God is good.


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