Yesterday was definitely a Monday! It was a busy morning and that was capped off with the view outside my window of kids rapidly exiting the Upper Elementary building as the fire alarm was screeching. Since we had a “fire drill” last week, I knew this wasn’t a test, and in that brief minute of assuming the worst, my fears and concerns jumped through the roof. I was immediately up and heading to the building with our safety team when the message came across the radio that we had a leak coming through the ceiling.
This was the cruelty of a Monday. In a moment’s instance I went from fear that a fire or something awful was occurring to, “Oh, it’s just a water leak.” Then I got to the door of the building and to say we had a “water leak” would be like saying it’s a little warm in Austin in August. We had a full on gusher coming from the ceiling with water pouring and ceiling tiles crashing to the ground. Seeing the water fall was not near as impressive as hearing it. It was literally roaring.
Our teachers from the Upper Elementary were consummate pros and did exactly what they were supposed to do. When the alarms sounded they had their kids out of the building and at their designated meeting spots before I even got into the building. The kids were excited and the excitement grew even more when the fire trucks arrived. With the assistance of some wonderful firemen we got the water turned off and they even stayed and helped clean up the ceiling tiles and squeegee the water out before it could seep into the walls. Thank you Austin Fire Department!
But the best part of the story happened next. When given the “all clear” to move the students together to the outside sitting area, Mrs. Ashley and I gathered the teachers to begin discussing where the classes would need to go for the afternoon and the process for planning the next couple of days. This was a pretty serious discussion because water had been pouring from the ceiling and the building would be off-limits until an electrician gave the all clear that it was safe and the restoration team had cleaned, not only the water from the walls and floors, but had scrubbed the air as well.
The faculty and I were gathered in a circle having this discussion when a moment of serious planning turned into a moment of sheer praise. Our precious students, without prompting and on their own, spontaneously broke out into song and began singing, “Sing and be Happy.” When this started, our meeting stopped. Where else do you have multiple grades of kids just displaced from their class with the fire department running in and out of the building and their teachers and administrators scurrying to control the situation, and their response was to praise God in song? Our meeting stopped for a moment and we watched and listened to the kids. This is who we are. When Monday hits you hard, sing and be happy. When times are frenetic, you press on to the goal. We trust in Him who leads the way.
This was one of those moments when who we are and what we do and why we do it was so clear. Students decided in moments of semi-controlled chaos that their response would be to sing to God. They didn’t take it as an opportunity to panic, cry, whine or plan how to manipulate the situation. They sang praises to God. I wonder how many of us would have that reaction to a crisis?
Matthew 18: 1-5
At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.”
Brentwood is a special place because Christ is truly the center of all we do. Your kids are learning the fundamental academic requirements to have great success in college and in life. More importantly, they are learning that Christ is the answer when times are good and when times are bad and if we put our faith in Him in our works and deeds then He will not disappoint. Or, as our students taught us in song:
“SING AND BE HAPPY”
If the skies above you are gray
You are feeling so blue
If your cares and burdens seem great
all the whole day through
There’s a silver lining that shines
In the heavenly land
Look by faith and see it my friend
Trust in His promises grand
Sing and you’ll be happy today
Sing and be happy
Press along to the goal
Press on to the goal
Trust in Him who leads the way
Trust Him who leads you
He is keeping your soul
He will keep your soul
Let the world know where you belong
Let all be faithful
Look to Jesus and pray
Look to Him and pray
Lift your voice and praise Him in song
Sing and be happy today!