Saturday, January 29, 2011

Run Through the Door

by Jan Shoop

Have you ever heard the words, “What do you do when the door opens?”  At StarShine it’s one of the most common questions you’ll hear and some of the most amazing answers you’ll receive.  As adults, what do we normally do when the “door opens?”  Do we walk through the door or do we peak in, or ask someone else to go through the door for us or just ignore the door hoping it will go away.  Many of us as children were taught to be careful, and peak in or have someone else go first.  How many times did you miss a window of opportunity when you hesitated or ignored the door of opportunity? 
During the summer of 2005, I was working at the school and there had been a number of murders, rapes and assaults around the neighborhood where the school is located.  The murders and rapes escalated and the news media named the perpetrator the “Baseline Rapist.”  Since we were a school with a limited staff during the summer months; we starting locking the front gate during the day to make everyone feel safer.  About a week later we received a call from one of the local television news stations.  They wanted to come out to the school to interview me regarding how we were keeping the school, students and staff safe.  I agreed, but when the reporter arrived the next day I panicked and asked one of the teachers to “run through the door” for me.  She agreed and did an outstanding job with the interview.  I went home that night totally frustrated with myself.  During all of my years as an administrator I had been telling my students “When the door opens, what do you do? Run through it.”  And here I was not following my own advice.
I think sometimes God works in mysterious ways, especially at StarShine.  When I got up the next morning I vowed that I would never again ask someone else to run through the door for me.  I would listen to my own inner voice and run through the door myself.  I got to school and within an hour another television station called to say they would like to interview me about the school.  Feeling very confident, I agreed.  As is always the case when you turn things over to God, the interview went perfectly and aired that night on television.
Now the interesting part; a couple of days later I received a call from a gentleman who had seen my interview on television and asked if he could visit the school with the possibility of enrolling his nephew.  The next day they visited the school. I greeted them and met the most wonderful, but quiet little boy, named Josh.  It appeared that the previous spring Josh’s father, who was his sole guardian, had been killed in an accident. And now this gentleman, Josh’s uncle, had sole custody.  Josh, needless to say, had had a very difficult time at school since his father’s accident.  The school he was attending was big and impersonal, so much that Josh got lost in his grief.  His uncle had been looking for a small school with a family atmosphere that would shelter Josh and help him heal.  Josh’s uncle had almost given up, but had been watching the news the night before and had seen my interview.  After touring the school we all felt StarShine was the school for Josh.  That was over five years ago and Josh is still at StarShine.  You would never recognize the strong, smart, and confident boy that Josh has become today as the boy who walked through the gates five years ago.
So when I ask the students at StarShine, “When the door opens…,” they immediately respond, “Run through it!”  I now know firsthand how important it is to run through the door when it opens. Not just for yourself, but for all the other people you will influence by just running through that door of opportunity.

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