#20years20lessons Lesson #5 ~ Alan Turner

Never a dull moment

Rob Cunnane, a former volunteer community member of mine, had a phrase that he used as a catch-all when there was really nothing else to say: “Never a dull moment.” It became a popular refrain in our house, and could be uttered any time something happened - big or small, good or bad - as long as it was unexpected. Think you’re going to get some laundry done but the kids come by wanting to play soccer? Ready to start cooking dinner when the power and water go out? Twenty kids with the flu? Local high school changes graduation date the night before? A battle on your birthday with water balloons and…eggs? Never a dull moment.

Of course, with over 120 boys and girls, a dull moment should never be expected. Just when I start thinking I have a situation figured out, it can all flip on its head. Or just when I may believe that I have a plan for the upcoming day or week, it all has to change on the fly. Best of all, just when I am certain that I know what to expect from a child, they come up with something new to amaze me. For some, this may sound like a stressful way to live. At times, it can be that way. But the good surprises far outweigh the bad, and as I’ve adapted to life at Amigos, “Never a dull moment” has become something I think of in an almost entirely positive light.

I have only been involved with Amigos de Jesús since 2008, but I am sure that in all of our twenty years, there has not been a single dull moment. The excitement and permanent state of change go beyond any single person’s day-to-day routine, and can also be seen through the lens of the hogar as a whole. Founding a home for boys, constructing a school, deciding to include girls, nearly tripling the number of children in three years… none of these are undertakings for those who seek the mundane.

Only God knows what each day or each decade will bring, and only He knows the limitless abilities of our children. If we were all so wise that we knew what will come from each situation and from each boy or girl, I think that would make life…well, dull. So I’m content being constantly surprised, having my plans always change, adding new children to the family and then asking how we ever got along without them. I don’t know what is coming for me, and I don’t know what is coming for our kids, but I do believe that our big Amigo upstairs put all of us here together on purpose. So my desire is to just keep on doing whatever I can to prepare our boys and girls for the future, and to always be thankful for the years that they have helped me live a life in which there is “never a dull moment.”

 

- Alan Turner, Former Volunteer and Current 'Padrino' Coordinator