Just a reminder…
October 6, 2021 – I was given five complaints about my teaching style (NOT one parent conference regarding anyone of these five complaints, which is disappointing considering this meeting was with principal / assistant principal / district administrator / union representative. How does it reach this level without a parent conference and/or a conference with the students). I responded to two of the five complaints: I said, “I love ya kid.” And my use of social media. I was told to stop telling your (my) students, “I love ya” and “I don’t care about your first amendment rights, refrain from using social media!” (you can learn more on a previous ARTICLE that explains why I retired early)
October 15, 2021 – at a meeting with an assistant superintendent, I told him, following thought and PRAYERS, I will retire at the end of the semester, December 22, 2021. I find it close to being immoral not to be able to tell someone – UNLESS THE PERSON ASKS YOU NOT TO TELL HIM / HER – “I love ya.” Frankly, I could make an argument, we don’t say, “I love ya” enough. As far as, “I don’t care about your first amendment rights, refrain from using social media,” my son is in the Navy and my grandfather, Executive Officer of the USS INDIANAPOLIS was killed when the ship was sunk on 30 July 1945, so I CAN HAVE AND USE MY FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS.
I retired knowing that at 56 years-old it is going to be difficult to find a job. As of 2:17pm, on January 24, 2022, I do not have a job.
And, then this happens today… (SPOILER ALERT: this is not going to end with “I GOT THE JOB!” — this story is not about a job.)
In December, I told my wife (Diana) that I would start to look for a job in January. Last week (January 17th) I started to look for a job. Today (January 24, 2022), I went to Bel Air grocery store in a city nearby where I currently live, Roseville, CA. I couldn’t really see anyone available to talk to. As I was getting ready to exit Bel Air, I saw a “Dutch door” top half open. I thought, “hey, why not see if someone is in there.”
So, I go to the half-opened “Dutch Door” and sure enough someone was in room.
“Hello, my name is Paul. Is there someone here I could talk to about applying for a job? I am a recently retired high school music teacher.”
Very nice lady gets out of her chair and approaches me, the stranger. “Well, the manager is not here. I don’t expect her until later this week.”
We continue the conversation and then …
“I have applied for a position for Raley’s (Bel Air) in Auburn. Once I apply for one Raley’s, does that application go to all Raley’s in the surrounding area?”
“It can. Let me get your name …” I politely stop her and say, “I have a business card.” I hand her one of my business cards.
She looks at the business card. “Did you teach at Riesling High School (fictitious name of school)?” For those who don’t know … this conversation is happening in a town close to two hours north of Riesling’s location!
I was startled. “Yes, I did.”
“You were the band director?”
Now, I am not startled, I am feeling the presence of God, “Yes! I was.”
“My cousin is Kim ______.”
“No way! I love Kim!” (oooops… there’s that forbidden phrase, “I love.”)
The two of us were in shock that this ….. just ….. happened. Here I am at one of many Bel Air grocery stores in the area and I am talking to a Class of 1994 Riesling High School student!
COME ON NOW! If that is not GOD… you go ahead and use your “serendipity” / your “coincidence” / your “luck.”
For me and my walk with GOD… IT IS ANYTHING BUT SERENDIPITY / COINICIDENCE / LUCK! This is a GOD MOMENT.
Walking into this specific Bel Air store / on this specific day / at this specific time / was getting ready to walk out of store / notice half-opened “Dutch Door” – all of this was a pat on the back from God for taking a risk to leave a noble profession that I had done WITH LOVE since January 1989!
Again, my retiring now, in the middle of the school year, is a tremendous risk. See… by me not staying in the teaching profession for another five-or-six-years, I will earn 65%-70% a month what I could have earned if I had stayed until I as 62. However, with the direction of public education in CALIFORNIA and my devotion to be a better man / a better CHRISTIAN MAN, I needed to change the environment. I cannot be / will not be culpable in an environment that is:
- going to allow 12-18-year-olds to get medical procedure(s) without parent consent
- to attend school, force children to get a vaccine for a virus with over a 98% survival rate (OPPOSE THE MANDATE / not oppose the vaccine)
- force students to wear masks TWO YEARS following the March 13, 2020, flatten the curve moment
- it’s okay to teach sex / gender “issues” to elementary school students
- I COULD GO ON! I am not of this world! I am growing in a different direction.
Now, following this GOD MOMENT, I don’t know what is going to happen next! What I do know is I will continue to accept events such as the one I share with you today as a reward from God for taking a risk and trusting God. This (leaving a noble profession TOO EARLY / TOO SOON) is not the risk I think it is, but instead – a sign of “thanks Paul for trusting and loving Me.”
Do all you can to recognize a GIFT FROM GOD and then acknowledge that gift by simply saying, “Thank You.”
I hope this helps someone today … especially those who are on the brink of taking hold of God’s hand. HOLD IT! And as you hold God’s hand, that means there will be people who will let go of your hand. That’s too bad and at the same time, we have choices to make. We are only here for a short time. I would love to see a picture of God holding my hand, as I hold someone else’s hand, as that someone holds someone else’s hand and so forth and so on.
Here are some verses to think about when choosing to take a “risk” …
- Proverbs 3:5 – Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
- Proverbs 16:9 ESV – The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.
- Proverbs 29:25 ESV – The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.
- Matthew 6:34 ESV – “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
- Matthew 25:14-30 – “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. …
- Hebrews 11:6 ESV – And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.