We received some great news this past week! Three of our students were selected as winners in the 29th Annual Art, Essay, and Poetry Contest sponsored by LifeWorks Ohio. The theme of their entry followed a line of Matthew’s Gospel, “Do to others whatever you would have them do to you.” Matthew 7:12. Eighth Grade student, Jaila A., wrote her essay from the perspective of a young boy named Ricky who had autism. In her essay, Jaila wrote, “ Since you want people to treat you with respect and dignity, you must do the same to them. If you want people to love you, you should show them love back. How you treat people reflects how you want them to treat you. Not only is it the right thing to do, it’s what God wants us to do...” Seventh Grade student, Clare J., wrote her essay through the eyes of an unborn child. She wrote: “I hope that when I am brought into this world that I can share my talents with others, not to expect anything in return, but to do it to be an example to others. I feel blessed that I am a child shaped by God to be his hands on Earth. I thank God for the gift of life…” And finally, Fourth Grader, Sophia M., wrote,” I can help the elderly in many ways. You can too…” Congratulations to these three students as well as their teachers, Mrs. Fields and Mrs. DeCore. These girls will attend the Awards Ceremony on April 2nd to receive their prizes of a check, ribbon, and certificate.
As I was writing this article, the Living Station adult leaders began to arrive for practice, and Jason Mravec showed me a beautiful picture that had been sent to him entitled “Born with a Purpose.” It is a picture of Mary’s arms holding the Baby Jesus with three crosses in the background. How moving is that! I then thought of a story I recently read in the St. Joseph Academy newsletter I want to share with you entitled, Cherokee Legend. “His father takes him into the forest, blindfolds him and leaves him alone. He is required to sit on a stump the whole night and not remove the blindfold until the rays of the morning sun shine through it. He cannot cry out for help to anyone. Once he survives the night, he is a man. He cannot tell the other boys of this experience, because each lad must come into manhood on his own. The boy is naturally terrified. He can hear all kinds of noises. Wild beasts must surely be all around him. Maybe even some human might do him harm. The wind blew the grass and earth, and shook the stump, but he sat stoically, never removing the blindfold. It would be the only way he could become a man! Finally, after a horrific night, the sun appeared and he removed his blindfold. It was then he discovered his father sitting on the stump next to him. He had been at watch the entire night, protecting his son from harm.”
Each one of us is born with a very specific purpose, but always under the watchful care of our loving Lord. One of the many gifts I find I receive working in education is that we can help our children “find their purposes” and discover their strengths, knowing that our Lord is walking with each one of them on their journey. I pray you have discovered the purpose for which you have been born. Our Lord walks with you.