September 12, 2011

School Opening Program

For the first time in 33 years, I was sitting as a spectator (and grandparent) in the audience as the school year was opened. On one knee was Maya, my grand-daughter. On the other knee was Aliya, another grand-daughter, eagerly watching. On my wife’s lap was a third grand-daughter, Ella, observing four of her siblings walking in with their classes. Beside us were our two daughters and daughter in law. Two grandsons were there for the first time as Kindergarten students, nervous, but excited too. What a riches! What a blessing! I did not have time to think much about not being in charge at the front. Someone asked Lena, “Was it hard for Jack to be sitting in the audience?” Lena’s answer was quick, and very insightful: “Not as hard as it would be to be up there.” How true. Not only physically, but also emotionally, I am weak and fragile. This chapter in my life is now closed, and I am OK with that.

It was an honour and a privilege to be present at this special event. Don’t forget to pray for the teachers, bus drivers, office staff, and custodian of your local Christian school. They are a powerful team with the task of influencing and shaping the next generation.
Mr. DenHollander, the elementary Vice-Principal, read a beautiful hymn translated from Dutch for me.

Lord What E’er the Future’s Bringing
(Dutch hymn ‘Wat de toekomst brengen moge’)

Lord what e’re future’s bringing,
I am guided by Thy hand.
And I lift my eyes while singing,
To the unknown promised land.
Help me follow uncomplaining;
Father, what Thou dost is right.
Guide me in the time remaining,
Give me courage for the fight.

Lord, I’ll praise Thy name forever
Though my soul can’t understand;
Blessed are they, who doubt Thee never,
But who trust Thy guiding hand.
Though the way seems dark and lonely,
Keep me Lord, from asking “Why?”
Oft I’ll get the answer only,
When I get to heaven on high.

Don’t let me decide, my Father,
What the future ought to bring;
I would make mistakes, or rather,
I would mess up everything.
As a child, Lord, wilt Thou feed me,
Wilt Thou guide me by Thy Hand;
I would lose the way, please lead me,
Lead me to the promised land.

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