Monday, November 08, 2010
I Can Do All Things
This is Mr. Weber's address to JPII students on November 7, 2010.
As you’ve no doubt observed, we are hosting a number of prospective families for tours of the school. Today we had “Coffee with the Headmaster” whereas tomorrow we have “Open House”. My thanks to all of you who are helping us with Open House. You are what is most impressive about JPII.
As I’ve been showing people around the school, I have come to appreciate some of the features of this school that I am now so familiar with that I otherwise don't notice. I’ll bet you’re the same way: Does anybody remember what the two Scriptural quotes are in the gymnasium and the weight-room?
In the gym: Teach me your ways O Lord, that I may walk in your truth.” (Psalm 86)
In the weight-room: “I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me.” (Phillipians 4:13, note Tebow's eye patches)
I’d like to speak about both of these Scripture sayings with you this morning.
My mother, when she was 18 years old, felt like God may have been asking her to be a nun. So a few days after graduating high school, she entered the convent as a trial period to further discern if that was right for her. From the moment she entered the convent, she was unhappy. Finally, after a month of being miserable, she went to see Mother Superior, in tears: “I know God wants me here, “ she said between sobs, “but I am so unhappy.” Mother Superior smiled. “Why do you think God wants you here?” “Because I am so unhappy,” my mother said.
I think there’s a twisted fear in all of us that if the Lord really does teach us, that if we really did “walk in his truth,” we’re going to be miserable. Perhaps it’s because we remember so well Jesus’ admonition: If you wish to be my disciple, you must take up your cross and follow me.” But suffering is not the same thing as unhappiness, and we need to know the difference.
There have likely been brief stretches in your life when things were just “right”. You were staying on top of your school work. Your relationships were in good order--with your family, your friends, your boyfriend/girlfriend. You’re were going to Church and building on your relationship with God. You were getting enough sleep. For athletes, this sometimes occurs in mid-season when you get into a good rhythm coming home from practice, taking a bath, doing your homework, going to bed on time. Your life was “clicking”. And here’s the most interesting part. It’s during those times we are most happy. Our life feels right. We’re proud of ourselves!
It’s when we really screw up—when we SIN—that we’re filled with guilt and shame, weighed down, like a depressing blanket that we put over ourselves. The Christian life is a joyful life! When we “walk in the way of Truth” we are happy, fulfilled, satisfied—because we are living as God created us to live.
Look, sometimes doing the right thing is hard. When my daughter was a senior, she went to a party and came home around 9 p.m., unhappy looking. I didn’t ask—It was hard enough that her father was the principal of the school she attended--so I tried to give her some space. But I knew what was going on: she had gone to the party and there were things going on that she didn’t want to get involved with, so she left. No doubt she felt lonely, especially since she had friends involved.
Sometimes doing the right thing will make us feel lonely. But here’s the promise God makes to us. If we rely on him, “We can do all things in Christ who strengthens us. “ Ask him to help you. He will.