If I could be vulnerable for a minute, we have days at Cornerstone where it feels like nothing has gone right: the hallway outside the Principal's office is filled with bickering students, a teacher has called down for urgent assistance in a room where chaos is encroaching, a parent has called worried about his or her child, a copier has died, a scheduled event has gone south, and it feels like a truck has run over the entire staff (then backed over me for good measure). Typically, at the end of such a day, I will walk into a classroom or the administrative offices, shoulders slumped, clothes rumpled, hair messed, and inquire, "Did we win today?"
While the answer is usually, "Without a doubt!" or "That was a close one, but yes," -- the truth is that there are days when no one can think of a way to calculate the positives so that they outweigh the negatives. There are days when we all agree, "We lost today." We have even had a full week where we have not been able to calculate a win.
No doubt, when the Disciples reflected on Jesus' arrest, crucifixion, and burial, they would have felt like they had taken a loss, the ultimate loss in fact! I often wonder what their mindset was on Holy Saturday as the crucifixion set in and their hopes of ushering in a new Kingdom were firmly dashed. If Matthew had asked, "Did we win today?" I can almost hear Peter, Mark, and the others, shoulders slumped, robes rumpled, saying, "No, we lost it all today."
But the truth is, the disciples were tallying up the score before the game was over. Jesus' death on the cross and burial in the tomb were the beginning of the biggest victory in the history of man. No doubt on Easter Sunday, as news of the empty tomb spread, they would have easily recalculated the score and taken the win! Two thousand years later, all of Christendom heralds that mournful weekend as the event through which we are justified and restored to our creator. The ultimate win!
How comforting it is to know that even on our worst days, the story is not fully written. The conversation and prayer with those students outside the Principal’s office may ultimately be the beginning of their relationship with a risen Christ. That call from a parent may be the avenue God uses to allow one of our staff members to share God's love. That broken copy machine may have resulted in a new lesson for a classroom that needed a detour.
Lord, let us not hold our heads down in defeat when our plans at Cornerstone are not going as we had envisioned. Instead, let us continue to do your work with the confidence that your ultimate victory is still assured. Let us remember that the answer to "Did we win today?" should always be "yes," and on days when we can’t say yes, let us remember that the answer may in fact be, "one day soon!" Lord, Let us be faithful to the work you have given us to do and not grow weary. Help us to see your victory everyday here at Cornerstone.