Supposed to…

Today was supposed to be our last Wednesday night of the school year. It was supposed to be a night filled with fun, reflection, laughter, smiles, eating contests, prizes, bad jokes, maybe even tears because of it all; but tonight, this Wednesday will pass like most nights do – without much notice.

Our students were supposed to have a chance to be together one last time before summer activities kicked off and everyone scattered. I was supposed to have a chance to speak to those students one last time before summer activities kicked off and everyone scattered.

I imagined today to look different than it does today. It was supposed to look different.
My chemistry teacher in high school, Mr. Key, would say:
“I used to be young and stupid. Now I am old and stupid.”

[Mr. Key, if you are reading this, I’m sorry that this is what I remember from your class and not what you taught me about covalent bonds and balancing chemical equations. I was young and stupid then, and I guess I am just old and stupid now!]

For most of my life I have found myself in this state: Not knowing things I wish I would have known and knowing things I wish I would have forgotten. Every birthday I have reinforces the feeling of having no business calling myself a year older because what have I achieved to constitute graduating to the next year? If birthdays were only celebrated upon achievement…well then happy 13th birthday to me!

But here is something I have learned: there are people, there are places, and there are times in life that are supposed to be important; but no one is going to be able to tell you when those moments are supposed to happen, where those places are supposed to be, or what those people are supposed to look like.

The last time we were supposed to meet on a Wednesday night was supposed to be tonight. The significance of the last Wednesday night was not found in April 29, 2020, but it was found in the last time we were set to meet before the summer…we all just got the date wrong.

Did I let a significant moment pass by in late February without recognizing it? Did I trade a significant moment for the chance to “do it later”? Did you? Tragically, I think we are far too certain that significant people, places, and times live in the distant future instead of the present. Yes, there will be significant moments in the future, but I think we will only recognize them if we commit to look for significance moments in the present.

I was supposed to be getting ready for the Senior Trip, Super Summer, and all sorts of summer activities. But if those things are taken away, what might have been something bigger I was supposed to be getting ready for?

As Christians, we have been given a “supposed to” lists from all over the place. We are constantly told what Christians are supposed to do and to not do. What Christians are supposed to believe and what not to believe. What other Christians they are supposed to listen to and not listen to…

Instead of subscribing to these numerous “supposed to” lists that flood our feeds, what if we gave priority to a “supposed to” list we can all agree has significance and daily application:

 “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

Colossians 3:12-17


If you find any significant people, places, or moments while trying to fill your life with those things…
you’re supposed to.



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