I moved back to my hometown of Ocala two and a half years ago. Some days it feels like 6 months. Some days it seems like I never left. I actually had to sit down for a minute and do the math. I left Florida in 1991, moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the entertainment industry, and aside from visiting family as often as circumstances allowed, never thought I’d look back.
Almost thirty years later, unfortunate circumstances made me look back… made me come back. And in a short time, fortunate circumstances convinced me to stay. Ambleside was and continues to be one of the very fortunate circumstances that allowed me to stay. Having spent so many years chasing a dream to varying degrees of success that were all about me, I came home to a purpose that left me out of the equation.
The thing is, I eventually popped back into the equation after the = sign. I also realize that as altruistic as all of that sounds, I have only benefitted from the decision to stop being my own best friend all of the time.
The generosity of old friends far greater than my own brought me to Ambleside after my move. The generosity and guidance of new friends, co-workers and students gave me a home and purpose there. Of course, God had a bit to do with the whole situation- orchestrated the whole deal actually- but He doesn’t need for me to point that out; I’m sure anyone reading this understands that’s a given. Indeed, every joy I’ve experienced in life has come from Him. Still, most of those joys have been delivered by people acting in kindness, friendship and selfless giving.
This brings me to Key Club and the encouragement toward service Ambleside Ocala promotes.
Daily, I am blown away by the energy brought to task by our students (who are as much our teachers as we are theirs most days) when called to give back. They are learning to become stewards of the school and its philosophy and are taking the charge with gusto. When I become overwhelmed with all that life throws at me, I think back on that age- it’s difficult because it was many many many moons and painful joints ago- and wonder if I was ever called to citizenship in the way our school manifests. The value placed on service to others was well in place when I came back home in 2020- and while Key Club is a new tool toward that end we’re all still figuring out in its infancy-we hope that it will help us all to continue growing in God’s Great Commission.
I’m growing. Our kids are growing. We’re all growing. We’ll never stop growing.
Please take a look at the PROJECT CHRISTMAS CHILD informational flyer in this newsletter and consider participating. Feel free to contact the office for any clarification about the project. I’m thankful to be here…with you.