What was I even "coming home" to?
When I left Alice Springs in December I had no job to go to. I had 3 kids. I had a wife. We had nowhere to stay, but my family came to the rescue and put us up till we got settled. All I knew was that the Sunshine Coast, Queensland was the place God had called me to - CRISIS of faith.
What was I doing here?
Will we ever have a house of our own?
We had just travelled a vast area of this wonderful land and for what? It was great family time, but now we had to face reality - without a job or house of our own.
Within 10 days of arriving on the coast, I received a phone call from the Head of Secondary at one of the local Christian schools looking for a Grade 7 teacher. In 19 years of teaching I had never taught this particular grade. She had my number given to her from an ex-student of mine that she knew through family connections.
What did I say to her?
"Ah…I'm not sure if I'm interested. I'll ask my wife if she wants the interview, and let you know in the morning."
What was I doing? Did I really say that? CRISIS of Faith
I came to my senses and went to the interview. The only clothes I had were a polo shirt, dress shorts and some sneakers. The principal later commented to me that his first impression on seeing me in these clothes was "Is this guy really serious and wanting a job?" All my "interview" clothes were still in boxes in a storage facility. In the interview I was asked the usual "any questions?" from the panel. Later on, I told my wife what I had asked. She just shook her head in disappointment. I asked about money and I made a glib comment about the clientele at the school. I was hoping for a substantial pay packet and hoping I didn't have to deal with too many Christian kids. I was on a mission!
I knew what I wanted to ask in my heart, but this is what came out. Even to this day, I can't even explain to myself how I could transfer what my heart wanted to say, but how I should have said it. CRISIS of Faith
I needed a new mission field. A new place to be challenged. I needed a place where I needed a CRISIS of faith every day as I had experienced in Alice Springs. God needed to put me in that place, that particular school….or maybe it was God had to put me in my place?
And I nearly threw it away with dumb things coming out of my mouth!
This week I shared a devotion for the first time with the teaching staff I work with. Thank God they could see the funny side of these events, but they also heard my heart for the lost. They heard the cry of my heart for my own soul and the life I believe God wants me to live.
I broke bread with them. I shared communion, the Lord's Supper, the Eucharist with them.
We were able to start the new semester together. It allowed me to share my life, my mission. It allowed me to align with the mission for their classrooms and with the mission of the school.
The amazing power of a bit of bread and a mouthful of grape juice caused us all to stand and fall silent- forcing us to confront the CRISIS of faith.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled (Matthew 5 verse 6).
Russell Modlin teaches English and Physical Education at a Christian School on the Sunshine Coast. He is married to Belinda and they have three children.
Russell Modlin's archive of previous article can be found at www.pressserviceinternational.org/russell-modlin.html