What is unique about working at the castle?

Armed with a notebook of individual prayer requests and a sheaf of paper containing names and photos of our entire student body, I unlock our prayer room and go in. Within minutes  four parents join me and we circle our chairs in the center of the room. After exchanging pleasantries and some laughter, we systematically go down the lists of student photos, praying for each by name, bringing them to the Throne of Grace.

Once the parents prayer time is done, I walk into the front office and see both the school nurse and school secretary, hands to heaven, spontaneously praying for a need on campus. I respectfully watch this holy moment in wonder--what a privilege we have to carry everything to the Lord in prayer and a work environment that encourages it! 

It is a chapel day. The wood doors are open and students flow in like bees to a hive, finding their friends, and packing in together. Every chair is filled. The band strikes up, voices blend with guitars, keys, and drums and praise fills the air, floods into the hallways, and spills down the outside steps. The mail carrier comes in, lugging an armful of packages from her truck to the office. I wonder what she thinks of this routine day of ours. 

At lunch time, I make my way down to the Student Union and witness a scuffle near the front door. A high school junior is loudly celebrating with fist bumps and high-fives that he successfully memorized his Bible passage for English class.

I join the line forming for lunch--chili and cornbread today--and find a table with two new students from out of state. I lean close to hear them talk about life in the dorms and classes they’re taking while all around us the air is filled with laughter and the clink of silverware. Back in my office at the Castle, three senior journalism students are busy editing photos and working on their various pieces. Worship music plays from one of their computers, providing a soundtrack for the project they're working on. I sit at my desk, picking up my own unfinished project, happy at the bustle of activity and sound around me. Suddenly, I hear laptop computers slap shut and all work ceases. "Guys, we just need to pause and worship." The music kicks back in and I hear three teenage voices rise in sweet, heartfelt harmony over the top of the music from the computer. The work is set aside as the students become more focused on the music and the lyrics that are playing than the work that is scheduled. It is a “Mary Moment” in our Martha World. They are choosing the important thing. I smile and soak in the sound of their worship.

These are a few of the many reasons I love my job.  

This is a somewhat ordinary day at HiIllcrest, something I think is really not ordinary at all.

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