Thursday, April 1, 2021

"Rounded:" A Note to CCS Teachers and Staff

 "Whenever you’re feeling worn out, remember that’s how broken things get smooth."  TK


It's only the God who knows all time

(and not the man who, at best,

may catch a glimpse of grandeur)

who truly understands the rhyme

and reason of things at rest

against the rhythm and allure

of things in motion.

Like rounded boulders

broken in some distant age

from cliffs along the ocean

by a merciful shrug of God's shoulders,

we, too, will weather the rage

of wind and waves against the stone…

we, too, of flesh and bone.

© Tom Kapanka 4-1-2021

Dear CCS Faculty and Staff, 

Rounded stones in nature always fascinate me. We’re told by geologists that smooth boulders and rocks are rounded by wind and waves and the constant rhythm of time that gradually wears them down.

The beaches of West Michigan are nearly 100% sand and rocks are scarce, but I grew up on the beaches of Port Huron, and they are stony. I’m not sure why, but the good news is the stones are all rounded so you can walk on them down to the waves for a swim. (Though for some, the walking looks painfully awkward until they are waist deep or find the comfort of a sandbar).

We see the same stony beaches on Mackinac Island where it has become a tradition for tourists to make little rounded rock towers between the beach and the bike trail. Some of these little monuments ("Ebenezers" if you will) stand for several weeks, but mostly they rise and fall in a cycle of renewed remembrance by many helping hands.

I feel like the team at CCS is sort of like rounded rocks. We all know that we are small representations of “The Rock” of our salvation, but our vertical relationship with God and His Son (the Cornerstone) does not mean life will be easy, and in fact, scripture says that the same trials (metaphorically: wind, waves, etc.) come to the just and the unjust. As believers, however, we understand that God intends for the trials of this life to purify us and strengthen us—or to stick with this metaphor—to make us well-rounded for his use. So… whenever you’re feeling worn out, remember that’s how broken things become smooth. 

CCS is blessed by a team of more than 40 well-rounded faculty and staff, and by that I mean, you all have so much different life experiences and gifts that make CCS a better place for students to get a rock-solid foundation of life.  

A donor called me two nights ago and said, “I’m thinking the teachers and staff at Calvary are feeling pretty worn out about now. This has been a tough year hasn’t it?” I assured him that it has been, and in fact, it has been a tough couple of weeks, but God is good and Spring Break is almost here. “That’s why I called,” he said, and through my cell phone I could picture his smile as he spoke and explained his desire to give all of you something to prompt taking a break at a quiet local place over Spring Break and sip a hot beverage and savor some delicious food. “I’ll leave the note to you,” he said.

Enjoy as we celebrate the Sunday when the stone was rolled away!

Tom Kapanka


The last two weeks before Spring Break have been exceptionally difficult as Covid-19 numbers in our state and county have seen an uptick. Our school protocols have been well-documented at this blog, and yet even here at Calvary, over half of the grade-levels in our K-12 program have gone to "virtual" mode due to a few positive tests among students and staff. All of the work involved in taking calls, tracing and updating parents, staff, the board, and the County Health Department is draining. 

Most teachers would much rather be in the classroom with their students than in slipping into BBS on Zoom. (BBS is a term I just made up: "Brady Bunch Syndrome." It's that feeling you get when your face is in a box with many other faces in boxes on a screen.) At any rate, we're all feeling pretty worn out and the image of this sonnet came to mind at my desk this morning as I wrote the note above to our Faculty and Staff in a Thank You card which also contained a gift certificate to Grand Traverse Pie Company.

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