This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. – Psalm 118:24 (ESV)
Today, I began the morning getting the boys off to school and then, essentially following the bus to the middle school (four more days and I don’t need to set my alarm anymore). I was scheduled to teach the last session of Junior Achievement this morning. This was the first time I’ve taught JA. I saw that there was a need this winter and figured, “Why not me?” since I’m generally available during the day – and I like middle schoolers.
The unit I’ve been teaching is on the Global Marketplace. We’ve talked about foreign language and cultures, the necessity of international trade, the benefits and barriers to working abroad, and today, foreign currency exchange. (This shouldn’t scare you if you’ve never taught JA because they provide great materials, although I was able to enrich the lessons with my business experience).
Today, I had the joy of discussing the impact of fluctuating foreign exchange rates with 13 and 14 year-olds. We talked about the impact of purchasing product in foreign currencies (exchange rate risk), what it means for the dollar to be stronger or weaker, and the best places to exchange your money when you travel abroad. We also discussed the gold standard and the benefits of a single international currency – topics they brought up for discussion. Smart kids.
After this, I went to meet a pastor friend for coffee. We see each other quite often during the winter months as I volunteer at Divine Intervention. However, we usually only have a few minutes since we’re both busy with our different responsibilities.
Today, we sat outside on this warm June day to catch up personally and with respect to our ministries. We shared thoughts on the pros and cons of our ecclesial structure, its frustrations and benefits. I was also able to learn more about a component of her church’s Divine Intervention ministry that I didn’t previously know much about. I enjoyed just being with.
Next, I went to an unexpected meeting at Tudor Oaks, the senior community where Heritage (my traditional congregation) is “living” (there’s no metaphor here, this is a great experience for us). I had reached out to the director of nursing earlier this week for a cook-out the church is planning in a couple of weeks. Being housed within a senior living community adds some additional considerations to plan for.
Today, I met with the director of nursing, lifestyle director, social worker and the lead dietician. We discussed Heritage’s desire to invite residents to be a part of a cook-out realizing that many have dietary restrictions. Our concern is being able to include the residents without increasing the workload of the staff. These folks welcomed our presence at Tudor Oaks and we came up with a plan to work together for the benefit of the residents. The dietician even offered to come to worship on Sunday to see who was worshipping with us so that we can plan ahead. We’ll man the barbecue and they will bring appropriate options for those with restrictions. She even volunteered to reserve the indoor dining room for us in case the whether was bad (it could be 40 degrees and raining in Wisconsin on June 12). I also had the surprise chance to visit with our church secretary (otherwise known as “The Glue”), who was in to finalize the bulletin.
Today, when I left the house at 7:45, I didn’t expect to be out until 3:30. I expected to come home after my coffee and have the afternoon to finalize my sermon for Sunday, start the wash, and maybe do a crossword puzzle on the deck. After navigating through the road construction that has overtaken Milwaukee, I arrived home to my family playing cards on the deck. I got myself a drink and sat down to watch the end of their game.
What a privilege today was: some things on my calendar and others unplanned. What a wide variety of people and conversations I experienced. What breadth of my experience and personality were expressed. There was nothing particularly spectacular about today
but by lunchtime I realized what a special day it was.
Today is the day the Lord has made. I am rejoicing and being glad in it. Thanks be to God.