I remember being a teacher and wondering why my principal didn’t seem to have common sense. Though I didn’t say anything to anyone, I often wondered. “Why doesn’t he get it?” “Why doesn’t he just do this?” “Can’t he see that he needs to do that?”
I had all the answers.
And then I became a principal. Let me just say that it was much easier being a “behind the scenes” principal and knowing what my principal ought to do than doing it myself. Until you actually walk the halls of a principal you don’t realize how much there is to deal with. Students. Parents. Superintendent. Community. Central Office. And the teachers. And the custodial staff. And the cafeteria staff. And the law. And local board policy. And…
While some decisions are relatively easy, others really require deep thought and consideration. You learn quickly that no decision is made in isolation. Many individuals will be impacted by the simplest of decisions. Many precedents will be set. Be careful what you give a nod to today because tomorrow others will be lining up outside your door with the same or similar requests or other variations. Things can quickly mushroom. And no matter how you answer most questions, someone is unhappy with your response. Soon you come to realize there is no completely satisfactory answer.
Yes, that last statement was a little facetious. A little.
You learn to “do your homework” and get as much information as possible, then you make the best decision you can at the time. You make a decision that you can stand by, and then you move on.
There are many occasions in our lives when there are no completely satisfactory answers.
Have you ever wondered where God was? During a storm like Katrina. During the September 11th attacks. When someone we love dies or, as I learned yesterday, when the mother of a 2nd grader and a 5th grader is killed. Just stepping out of her car. Here one minute. Gone in the next.
Did God take a holiday? Step off the throne for just a moment? Look away? Blink?
In times like this we have no completely satisfactory answer.
But if we “do our homework” and get as much accurate information as possible, then we know that God does not take holidays, step off the throne, look away or blink. In Hebrews 13 He tells us that He will never leave us nor forsake us. In the words of my pastor, “Never means never.”
Make the best decision you can. Make a decision that you can stand by. Make the decision that even though we, in our humanness, cannot understand suffering we must trust Him, trust His faithfulness, trust His promises and trust His Word.