He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly… – Luke 1:52
One of the blessings of my work with the TRIO program is getting to know some of the most amazing people I have ever met. Many of my students speak two or more languages with varying levels of fluency, and they have accomplished so much more in their lifetimes than I ever will. Many came to the US as children and had to navigate the educational system in a language that was unfamiliar to them. Others had to leave school to work and support their families, so some of them are getting their GED or high school diplomas in their fourth decade of life. The difficulty of this is not lost on me, so I make it a habit to keep star stickers in my bullet journal to hand out to reinforce their successes in tutoring. If they do well on a test, they get a high-five from me and I take them into my boss’s office to brag about them to her. One student in particular just got recruited for the Bachelor of Applied Science in Applied Management program at Skagit, a new two-year degree program for students who already have an Associate degree, and I could not be prouder of her than I am right now.
I compare them to those in leadership positions and privileged circumstances, and it angers me that they are considered successful in our upside-down world. They were sent to the best schools that money could buy, and many of them inherited successful companies from their parents. Their successes have largely been at the hands of other people, and some have engaged in dishonest and predatory business practices to succeed, resulting in lawsuits, fines, and criminal charges.
However, everything they have could be taken away from them at any time. They have no foundation to stand upon because all of their gains are dependent on the work of others. My students, on the other hand, will prosper because they have put in the work necessary to build a solid foundation. They know what it is to work for one’s living, and they have shown that they can overcome adversity. They will prosper in life in ways that benefit the kingdom of God.
God, thank you for the example of those who have faced true adversity and overcome it. Help us to learn from their example. Bless their work for your kingdom and help us to be good co-workers for them. Amen.