Aya Academy of Excellence



Road Tested: When God Gives You a Tune Up

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I’ve been plagued with doubt recently. During quiet moments, I’ve been lamenting over the valleys of leading a social entrepreneurial endeavor. Although I have not been doubting my purpose nor our mission, I’ve been in doubt whether I possess the capacity to make the impact that is much needed. It took a ten-hour, 400 mile journey for God to reaffirm that my doubt is needless and that when you do the work he commissions you to do, you will be successful.

While enroute, I kicked myself for not taking the car to get serviced before we departed. As the car ages, little quirks are springing up. So after a few days into our trip, I headed futilely to two Walmart locations to get an oil change. I ended up at one of several area Jiffy Lube locations in front of an affable check-in coordinator. He inquired, “Are you still teaching?” After mentally running down the contents of my car and realizing that he could not have known that from the debris tucked into the side door compartments, I studied his face to see if I recognized him. I didn’t. Was he part psychic and part psycho? How did this complete stranger pick up on the fact that I was once a classroom teacher? He shared that one of the crew was a former student. God never ceases to amaze.

After ten years and a few dozen teachers, this young man I shared a sixth grade classroom with remembered me. I am humbled by that. After hugging, chatting and mild coercion, my former student allowed me to snap a pic of him with his crew.

Impact. Whenever I write a grant to raise funds, engage a community partner or meet with our board, I discuss how we impact the lives of others. During my recent contemplation, I’ve been weighing the peaks of impact against the valleys of incremental progress. Is this journey worth it? Can I profoundly make a change within the community? With one brief, ‘coincidental’ encounter God reaffirmed that what I’m doing matters and that the reach of our work must continue.

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