Growing up in the second grade and going to Southside Elementary school in Sanford, Florida was a big deal. I can still remember my classroom with the high gloss wooden floors and ceiling to floor windows. You could actually stand there and look out at the trees, the squirrels, the bushes that surrounded the front of the school. I spent many a day gazing out those windows. It was that same classroom where our class watched the funeral of our beloved President JFK.
Memories, people and events motivate us into forming world views, inspire action for social justice and determine future soul mates and eternal relationships.
I had to begin the process of scouting for a future husband and this was the best way to begin. Go figure?
Some of my maturing as a young woman began when I was in the second grade. I was seven years old and my mom had invited my best friends for my 7th birthday party. I remember the specific events of this occasion because they were life changing. I had my first, second, and third kisses from boys other than my dad or brothers. These kisses were The Big Event and it happened at Big Tree Park in Sanford, Florida behind The Senator, a 3,500+ year old huge Bald Cypress tree.
John, Steve, and Oswald and I had taken a secret walk over behind the Big Tree. It was so big in circumference that three or four adults could hide behind it so it was very easy for four second graders. Because we had to be quick our kisses were more like little pecks on the cheeks, but this was a pretty big deal in the the four of our lives! I will never ever forget the fusion of shame and boldness that I felt.
After all, I had to begin the process of scouting for a future husband and this was the best way to begin, or so I thought at the time. Go figure?
After this act of boldness, “my boys” wanted me to make a choice as to which one I liked the most. The truth is I think I liked them all the same. I was still in the process of information gathering and contemplating their character and qualities as much as a 2nd grader could assess.
As pressure mounted to determine the “pecking order” we all four decided that an impression contest would be in order. Each one would have to do something to impress me. Then I would decide.
The opportunity to perform presented itself when our teacher Mrs. Morgan left the room.
Oswald, John and Steve began to discuss their plan and order of performance. First John, then Steve and the finally Oswald. This trifecta began and you know they not only had my attention but the entire class. The pressure was on, but boy did I feel special!
Mrs. Morgan was gone and all I remember of the Impression Contest that day in 1963 was Oswald’s wildly bold and totally impressive stunt. Thinking back, I’m certain John did something great and Steve as well. But nothing could compare to Oswald and what would happen next. It is forever stamped in my brain. John and Steve were both the best looking and talented, but it was Oswald that grabbed my attention and has forever held it. In fact he got everyone’s attention that day, including the principle, our teacher, and most likely his parents too. Oswald knew that he had to be not only quick to act before the return of Mrs. Morgan, but it had to be something spectacular.
Oswald was going to show me he could fly!
Oswald was freckle faced, was a little odd and quirky but he was bold, courageous and fearless. He wasn’t afraid of anything and the entire class was about to find out. Oswald was going to fly. We thought he was just going to stand on top of his desk and jump off, run around the room like Superman, but to everyone’s surprise Oswald had a much bigger idea.
Our classroom windows were open to let in the Central Florida summer breeze and there were no screens that I can remember. When I realized he was serious, I stood up to voice the word NO but, it was too late.
We all watched Oswald step up on the window sill and with a big grin he shouted, “Marlene, look at me!” He leaped out of the window and that was the last time I ever remember seeing Oswald. His impression was so big and so shocking that to this very day I have no recollection of whatever happened to him after that eternal moment.
I often think that Oswald would have been the good pick for marriage. He didn’t mind taking a risk for what he wanted. He was committed and he was willing to fuse himself to have a “whatever it takes” attitude to get the job done. I believe this is the type of commitment God wants us to make when we are born of the Spirit and become His children and disciples. It’s difficult these days to stay fused to the LORD and His purposes.
Men who before they were saved would scorn to talk about troubles, often become “fusionless” after being born again because they have a wrong idea of a saint.Oswald Chambers
Oswald Chambers says,
“If you are a child of God, there certainly will be troubles to meet, but Jesus says do not be surprised when they come. “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world,” there is nothing for you to fear. Men who before they were saved would scorn to talk about troubles, often become “fusionless” after being born again because they have a wrong idea of a saint.
God does not give us overcoming life: He gives us life as we overcome. The strain is the strength. If there is no strain, there is no strength. Are you asking God to give you life and liberty and joy? He cannot, unless you will accept the strain. Immediately you face the strain, you will get the strength. Overcome your own timidity and take the step, and God will give you to eat of the tree of life and you will get nourishment.”
Today, I would encourage you to allow God to give you life as you overcome. Trust in Him. Be like Oswald and take the leap, eat of the tree of life who is Jesus. He will nourish you.
BLESSED IS OUR LORD MOST HIGH!
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And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.Philippians 1:6