When Principal James Marsh arrived at Zela Elementary School in rural Summersville on a Monday morning, he had no reason for alarm. Everything looked normal and in working order. He greeted his teachers and stood out front to greet students as they arrived on buses.
When a custodian informed Marsh that he couldn’t unlock one of the dumpsters, he quickly went over to help. After unlocking the combination lock and lifting the metal bar restricting access, Marsh heard deep growling. After a moment, the dumpster lid lifted, and Marsh was staring into the eyes of a black bear. “If he’d have reached his paw out, he could have swiped me,” Marsh said.
In a sequence captured on security footage, the bear quickly bolted from the dumpster and ran off into the nearby wilderness as Marsh too ran in the opposite direction. After a brief moment to collect himself, Marsh was seen laughing. “Did you not hear anything?” he asked the custodian. Nope, he hadn’t seen or heard a thing. It wasn’t until they reviewed several hours of security footage that they uncovered evidence that the bear had previously gorged itself on food inside, then fallen asleep.
When he asked the students to name the bear (in case it ever returned), the students decided on “Jack.” “Because he came out of there like a jack-in-the-box.”
Possible Preaching Angle:
Life is filled with surprises and sometimes sudden danger. We are not to worry about the future or live in dread, but put our trust in God. We should live confidently, recognizing that any moment may be our last on earth.