Moments Matter

Our daily interactions matter. As a high school teacher, I get very little personal interaction with adults. I spend most of my time with students, and even most of those encounters last for the time it takes to chew a small bite of sandwich.

In those moments when I do get chances to interact with adults, they usually have the taste and consistency of white bread, too. The exchanges are flimsy and hurried. Often, I find myself cutting a conversation short because I’m thinking about whether or not I can make it down the hall and back before the next bell rings.

This morning after a staff meeting, we were charging back to our classrooms to be ready for the second bell and to administer the first exam of finals week. On my path, I bumped into a teacher whom I see perhaps once a month. He teaches on the other side of the building.

While walking, he craned his head back and asked, “Have any summer plans?”

“Canada,” I answered. Both of our steps slowed, maybe a fraction of a second.

“Really? How long?”

“Not sure yet.”

He may have uttered a “Cool!” before turning down a connector hallway. Yep, that was it.

But it was enough to get me thinking tonight. Faces of colleagues have been coming to mind, faces of those who, at different times in my 12-year career, intersected my path when I was going down a long, difficult hallway of my own. This particular teacher’s kindness and empathy popped on my radar screen many years ago, though I’ve not seen him very much since. But afterward I felt prompted to send him an e-mail and reconnect. Just to tell him that his time mattered.

As these different faces came to mind, so did thanksgiving. I believe God puts exactly the right people in our “hallways” at exactly the right time.

Sometimes turning around and looking into someone’s eyes is all it takes to insert enough space to let a person and a moment matter. The focused challenge for me is to walk my crowded pathways just as Jesus walked along His crowded pathways.

I don’t believe that Jesus, despite being knocked and jostled about,  ever accidentally bumped into anyone.

4 thoughts on “Moments Matter

  1. I have enjoyed discovering and reading your blog! Keep up the good work as an educator who is living his job as a servant of Jesus. I have worked in the school system as a para professional for 20 years and know the increasing expectations on teachers and the shift of culture to place more responsibility for student’s success from home to school.
    Thanks for the reminder that moments matter.
    Have a blucky week!

    • The times are a-changing in education, as well as in the homes across America. But our callings to be a servants of Jesus will never change. Thanks for commenting. And have a blucky week yourself!

  2. Keep listening to those Holy Spirit promptings. This is a good reminder to intentionally make moments that matter with our friends and relatives and really anyone God sends us on our pathway. I love you.

  3. More responsive chords touched, Matthew. MOMENTS DO MATTER. Living on our super busy, stress filled world, one of our coping strategies when we could not find time to take the equivalent of a trip to Canada, we first learned to take a full day for family – like cook breakfast over a fire in a park, walk nature trails in the day or row a boat,… and end the day with a campfire before returning home. We called those mini-vacations. And when even those were not possible, we developed a smaller satisfying unit of time named mini-moments – partly why your title stimulated a reaction.
    Your exchange with your colleague, stimulated the other. I thought of the song “Will the Circle be Unbroken?” that originally started with the line, ” There are loved ones in the glory,Whose dear forms you often miss;…” and, sure enough, we miss our “dearly departed”. But there are so many people still living, relatives and friends, that we often miss also, and what moments we have to visit, phone, e-mail, or Skype them are precious in preventing broken circles here and well as hereafter. Thanks for reminding me. Love, Ken

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