By Dave Schillero
Working in a middle school, mid-October is usually a difficult time of the year. It feels like the time of the year that everybody figures out that school actually lasts from August until next May. Reality finally hits all the students and teachers that the school year is 9 months, not 9 weeks. Homework starts disappearing, everybody is yawning, and my patience is beginning to slightly fade. October is the “Wednesday” of the Fall semester, the time of the year that the work day feels longer, the sun goes down sooner and every task seems more difficult than it used to.
Although this example is quite specific to working in an educational setting, I wouldn’t be surprised if everybody goes through the occasional “Wednesday” in their life. Whether you work in a school or for an accounting firm, most people tend to fall into the occasional slump. For me, it is really easy to feel “bummed out” and sad at these points of year. I love my life and I know I am blessed to have a job and a home, but it still feels like life is waging a war on my heart.
Sometimes, it feels like joy is just slightly out of reach.
It is at these times that I thank God for the gift of friendship. After a difficult day of work there is nothing I look forward to more than a conversation with one of my close friends. Although these conversations vary between me ranting about work or analyzing the Cleveland Indians chances at making the World Series or just silently sitting on a couch, barely saying a thing, they are always conversations I relish. I love being around people, hearing their stories and telling others about my perspective of the world. Being able to have conversations with friends is likely one of the most rejuvenating activities I can partake in, especially at the end of a difficult day.
I believe God gave us the gift of friendship for this reason.
Friends can encourage us, help us learn more about ourselves and drive us to be better people. There have been many times when my friends have called me out for having too negative of an attitude towards life and there have been times when my friends have been there for me with kind words of sympathy. Sometimes we need the outside perspective of a friend to steady us and help us see the bigger picture.
When Joshua went to battle against Amalek, he had his friend Moses, standing behind him with his hands raised, ready to help him in battle.
Although Moses grew tired, he pushed forward because he had Amalek’s back. When Moses finally grew too tired to continue supporting Joshua, it was Aaron and Hur who took Moses’s burden and lifted his hands for him.
These are the kinds of friends I hope and pray will continue to enter my life and will hopefully enter yours. Friends that will stick by your side through your personal “wars” are priceless and a blessing from God that we need to cherish. Going through today’s reading made me think about how much I appreciate my good friends, but also how good of a friend I have in Jesus.
If there has ever been one person who has been willing to stand behind me through my difficulties, through my pain and through my blunders, it has been Jesus.
He listens to my prayers, He knows my worries and He died on the cross years ago so that I could have the hope of being with Him one day. Although it may be difficult, I know that the care of my friends and the overarching, unconditional love of my friend Jesus can get me through the worst of Wednesdays. It is this hope that keeps me moving forward, one step at a time.
(Thank you to all of the friends in my life. You mean more to me than you will ever know)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
My name is Dave Schillero. I suppose there are a few things you should definitely know about me. I grew up in Garfield Heights, Ohio (Southeast Cleveland) with my giant family consisting of three brothers and three sisters. I eat, sleep and breathe Cleveland sports. Most of my time is spent coaching, covering local games for Cleveland’s media outlets or debating with friends about which team will win the week’s big game. There is something transcendent about sports that I have come to appreciate over the years. Sports can shine light on one’s pride or humility, resilience or laziness, love or hate. Sports create a way for people to escape the worries of everyday life and appreciate the gifts God has given us. As an educator, coach and sports reporter I’ve seen the power of sports effect people from all ages and walks of life.
I hope my posts serve as a reflection of what I have learned over the years as a student, athlete, coach and journalist. There is so much joy that God has to offer us in this life. Sometimes, God calls us to run after that joy with everything we have. My reflections are a window into my race towards the God who loves me more than I can imagine.