It is time to move on.
Back to family. Back to many old friends. Leaving many new friends behind. Saying goodbye to others who were called to the same place, to the same school, to the same people…but are leaving and moving on.
Moving, not sitting still even in the last three weeks of term, but finishing marking, writing reports, packing up a house, coaching two basketball teams, playing in a basketball team, not being able to make it down to pre-season football training, travelling to Darwin for two nights for a teacher's meeting, end of year awards ceremony, organising and running a swimming carnival, more packing, holding a lawn sale, teaching classes, coaching my son's cricket team, watching my son play 7-a-side soccer, more packing and throwing away of "stuff", wrestling time and reading stories to my son, taking a group of 20 indigenous students to the Sunshine Coast, Christmas parties, watching my son graduate from Grade 6 before he starts Middle School, spending time with my wife (aren't we due for a date night?)…
I do not have a job to go to.
I am not sure where we will live. (Thanks Mum and Dad for offering to put us up till we find a job and place!)
Moving and waiting on God.
"Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord," Ephesians 5:17-19 New International Version (NIV)
One of my desires as I have lived and worked in Central Australia is to be filled with the Spirit like the early Christians. To walk, live and breathe each moment with God so entrenched in my life that I can sense His presence and see people, needs and the world how He sees it.
"What profit a man that he gains the whole world, yet loses his own sons?" (paraphrased from Matthew 16:25-27 New American Standard Bible (NASB) For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?) My relationship with the students at the Indigenous boarding school I teach at has never been better. However, it takes me away from time with my family. It is time to move on.
There is a time to listen to the still, small voices, not in my head or my heart, but the still, small voices coming directly from my sons. "When can we see Granddad and Grandma again? When can we see our cousins again?" Yes my sons, we are moving. It is time.
Our time here is finished.
However much I felt a deep sense of calling to my "ministry" to the indigenous kids, the greatest ministry a father could ever have is to his family and his sons. If I cannot spend time with them, then I have no opportunity to 'Train up a child in the way he should go…' (Proverbs 22:6 NASB).
It is time to move on.
Russell Modlin teaches Physical Education, Health and English at an Indigenous boarding school in Alice Springs, Northern Territory. 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