I’ve Been Changed.
For a number of years now, Sue and I have invested the money we would spend on gifts for each other into season tickets at the Paramount. We enjoy the spectacle of the animals entering the auditorium in Lion King, we marvel at the staging of Phantom of the Opera, we sing along with Jersey Boys, we are amazed at Alexander Hamilton's ability to rap, we are awed by the athleticism of the choreography in almost every production, and we are brought to tears on many occasions. There is something very fitting in that this all began with Les Mis’ and it will end with Les Mis’ in a few weeks. As far as stories and plots, one of my favorites is still Wicked. I find it to be a fascinating story of creation, fall, redemption, and regeneration that climaxes when the two main characters realize the importance of their relationship in the song For Good.
I have changed. I cannot believe the amount of gray hair that collects on my lap when I get a haircut. My abs seem to have developed a protective covering. Former students are my peers and colleagues. My grandchildren have taken over the spot on my lap my daughters once occupied. Work used to take up far too much of my time. Today, I work to worship. Once, my partners in Christian Education were limited to the home and the church. I leave here knowing my partners exist within an ecosystem embracing not only the home and church, but also the city, the Korean Foreign Language School that shares our facilities, the myriad of groups that rent our gym, the soccer/volleyball clubs, and the variety of privately and state funded schools in our athletic leagues, and the list is growing. Ideas are challenged and affirmed or changed. I am far more child-centric than I was when I came. I find that I am learning more and more everyday. I am better than I was thirty years ago and thankful for it.
There is no way I can adequately express my appreciation for what the Watson Groen/Shoreline Christian community means to me and to my family. We began here as a young family excited to see what the Lord had up His sleeve. We leave here at bit older, wiser, and still excited to see what God has in store for us next. You partnered with us as we raised our daughters and helped them to be incredible adults. You have shared our joys and our grief along the way. I am thankful for the times you offered encouragement and rebuke as we wrestled with the joys and challenges of leading an evolving school community in responsive obedience to our God.
I remember seeing my father with tears in his eyes at a family event. When I asked him why, he responded “Sometimes my heart is so full it leaks out my eyes.” Suffice it to say that my heart is pretty full right now, and it makes it a challenge to stand in front of people to offer anything meaningful. I look forward to being able to cook a hot dog for you in a few weeks and to share a meal together. I ask that you continue to support the school we love with your prayers and with your resources. I know God has great things in store for our school and for my family.
To the students, staff members, parents, community members and others who have crossed my path over the past three decades, please accept my heartfelt thankfulness for our time together.
Because I knew you, I’ve been changed for good.