This week I experienced God’s presence through a decision I had to make. A sudden opportunity came up to go to Toronto this coming weekend to get trained in a workshop called “Voices From the Land”. It’s all about making art with students using found objects in nature and then writing poetry to go with the photographed art.
I took the workshop 2 years ago at Ft. Whyte. It was taught by one of my all time favorite teachers, Erik Mollenhauer along with his wife Kris. Erik is the founder of the Monarch Teacher Network, and he and Kris are ardent supporters of teaching students to protect our planet by learning to love it.
I first met Erik when he led the Monarch Teacher Network tour of the monarch butterflies in Mexico in 2009, which I was blessed to be part of. He is a born teacher, perfectly exemplifying one of my favorite teaching quotes, “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” (attributed to William Butler Yeats)-
It was a difficult decision to make because life is more than full right now with report cards to complete along with regular school planning. It didn’t seem to make any sense to even consider going, but the opportunity kept tugging at my sleeve.
In my quandary, I decided to try bringing it to prayer. I sat beside Jesus in my imagination, as I’ve been doing. It’s often strange to try to do this. There are moments when it feels weird and other moments when Jesus seems real, but I’ve been encouraged enough to stick with the discipline. I straight out asked Jesus what he would want me to do.
As I sat with this question, all the fears I had came to the surface; fears around not getting my to-do list done. It felt like a swirl. And then, in my imagination (or was it real?), Jesus reached out, put his hand on my heart and said, “Be not afraid.” And the swirl stopped.
What followed was a feeling of profound peace and gladness, and I knew that all would be well. I checked out the decision with my close friends. And that’s how I decided to say yes, trusting in God’s word to me.I was able to use my school division’s discretionary day and book my flight.
In the song, “A Dream Like Mine”, Bruce Cockburn’s sings, “When you know even for a moment that it’s your time, then you can walk with the power of a thousand generations.” In the 2 weeks that followed, life has been fuller than full but I have felt God giving me strength. Remembering the moment I heard “Yes” and that I could step into life and not be afraid has made all the difference.