There is a great old hymn that begins, “Jesus calls us o’er the tumult…”. My life has been blessed simply because of my answer to that call. I walked on the campus of East Texas Baptist College in Marshall in the fall of 1949, knowing what I needed to prepare for. My public school years could have been less hectic had I not been a ‘show off’. (I hadn’t internalized James 3, donchaknow) I knew I had unique talents, but failed to ‘shut up’ and give GOD the credit. Yep! “Heaven was my Home and I was simply ‘Here’ on a visit”. My demand for attention was foolish. Even though I toned it down, my name on the role waved a red flag. Yet, through all the self-caused difficulties with authority, deep down inside , I knew what I would and could do in life. Even though I failed to be humble and properly respectful of what GOD had imparted, I knew that music education was to be my chosen field. I was not prepared for the philosophy of ‘sounding brass and tinkling cymbals’ that was (and is) the window dressing that is perpetrated on society in mediocrity. I have the greatest respect for the classroom teacher who gives his/her life struggling to nurture our children with the necessary tools that provide our youth opportunity to be successful contributors to the common good, but it is an uphill battle to overcome the pap that is Political Correctness. (You doubt my opinion? Then take a close look at teenage crime; morals and welfare roles). There are many, including members of my immediate family, who have served and saved, but to be recognized by those who administer is very seldom. Parents have long expected our public schools to ‘bring up their child” and public schools have taken that as a ‘mandate’ to do it without GOD! I took teaching very seriously. I was not the least bit interested in pleasing any administrator. I believe my former students would agree that we were all in a ‘labor of love’ that resulted in the best educational effort any man could give. My ‘evaluations’ were a joke. With only a few exceptions did I ever have a ‘visit’ by an administrator. My first full-time job in Vegas was teaching elementary music. My evaluation was printed out with the former teacher’s name in the blank! As I was going over the opinion and noted the ‘error’, the Principal waffled out by explaining it a ‘typo’ by his secretary. I knew the former teacher and by telephone, we read the ‘evaluation’ word for word. Ridiculous? You Bet! Over my entire teaching career I had five actual visits by an administrator, and three of them were as a substitute! I am convinced that I would have spent my entire life doing what I loved to do had there not been such ineptness and arbitrary control on the part of administration (and my inability to ‘roll with the punches). in a much later visit with a former Superintendent, he said, “You were one of the best teachers I ever met, Jim. You were a challenge that I could never break.” ????? That said a great deal. That made me feel a bit better since I was always walking away from mediocrity, feeling like a wimp who couldn’t stand the heat in the kitchen. What he said was most appreciated. After that day, I realized it wasn’t a disgrace to separate oneself from a situation, without a hope of success. James’ Bible passage may have been about ‘preaching’, but I also take to be a warning to those who enter a classroom as a ‘teacher’ without righteous intent. To impart one’s opinion and lead young men and women astray with abominable, GODless philosophy that lacks “Truth” is a terrible injustice that will result in what we see in our news today. When will we EVER LEARN? You want to know what is wrong in the world today? I can tell you it’s “Being In The World”!! Amen or Oh My!?
(Tomorrow’s Blog will publish at 3:16 pm and you can tell me why, if you wish)