I love my job.
I love talking with Soldiers. Lately, I've been doing that a lot -- sometimes late into the night, and at times from the middle of the night onward.
But even when that happens, as it did recently, I still find myself grateful for this opportunity to be of service.
While I was giving the final exam in my "Contemporary Moral Issues" course, I took off to the gym while my students dealt with their "Adventure in Learning." (I suppose it's just a tad 'over the top' to name my exams "Adventures in Learning," but I've been doing that for at least twenty-five years now.)
I only had 35 minutes for the cross-trainer and 35 minutes for the treadmill, so I tried to make the most of so little time. I was fairly successful, because I left the gym exhausted. I returned to the classroom in time to collect up the exams, and was surprised to find that some of my students seemed to be sweating almost as much as I was.
I then managed to get to bed by 2330, which was doing pretty well for me. I very much looked forward to a good six hours of shut-eye. Mmmmmmm.
I think my cell phone had only rung a couple of times when I answered it, though I was in a pretty deep sleep, I suspect, so I could be wrong on that account. The young man on the other end of the line informed me that we'd received a Red Cross Message, and told me the gist of the communiqué.
I knew I'd have to get up and move out, but as it felt as though it was almost time to get up anyway, that wasn't such a bad thing.
Until I looked at the phone.
I did a double-take, and looked again at it. I then stared at the large, old-fashioned school-room clock on my hooch wall.
That's right. I'd not even been asleep two hours yet.
By the time I got back to my room, it was after 3 a.m., and as tired as I'd been only a few hours earlier, I took quite a while to fall asleep again. There was no way I could skip the bright-and-early morning meeting a few hours later, so when the alarm assaulted me soon thereafter, I was up-and-at-'em.
I wouldn't trade the chance to have done what I did in the middle of that night for anything.
I love my job!
I'm very grateful for the chance to be of service.
Blessings and peace to one and all,
Fr. Tim, SJ