Susan Jordan was principal of an elementary school in Indianapolis for twenty-two years. Tuesday she was standing outside with her students when a stationary school bus inexplicably accelerated and jumped a curb. She pushed several students out of the way before the vehicle struck and killed her. A fire department spokeswoman said, "Up to the minute she was alive, she was helping the kids."
Her superintendent said of her, "Quite frankly, ladies and gentlemen, we are talking about a legend." He described Jordan as "a phenomenal individual that truly cared about children." Last May, dozens of students, faculty, and staff made a video about her. The students called her "friendly, focused, smart, organized, inspirational, dependable, determined, positive, and awesome." The district closed all schools yesterday in her memory.
When the bus careened toward her students, Susan Jordan didn't have time to decide whether she would risk her life for them. In that moment, her reaction revealed the sacrificial commitment she had already made.
Like her, the time for us to decide our life priorities is before they are tested. Only then can we be ready for challenges when they come.
And make no mistake, challenges are coming.
We learned this week from the director of Europe's police agency that ISIS "has developed a new combat-style capability to carry out a campaign of large-scale terrorist attacks on a global scale."
The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists announced Tuesday that the world's Doomsday Clock would remain at three minutes to midnight, where it was moved last year. Their explanation: "Today, unchecked climate change and a nuclear arms race resulting from modernization of huge arsenals pose extraordinary and undeniable threats to the continued existence of humanity."
My point is not that our broken world is a fearsome and unpredictable place, though it is. Nature is fallen and sinners sin. My point is that the best time to prepare for the world's problems is before we face them.
In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus' submission to his Father's will reflected a lifetime of obedience. While awaiting execution by beheading, Paul's triumphant courage reflected decades of passionate faith.
Choose today how you will respond to challenges tomorrow. If you decide now that you will love and serve Jesus unconditionally, one day you will say with Paul, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith" (2 Timothy 4:7).
Those you influence will never be the same, and your legacy will last forever.
Publication date: January 28, 2016
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