November 10, 2012

Teaching

"Miss Beth, can I, like, just not do this homework?" Raul asks.

My only reply is a bemused smile.

As if on cue, four other students in the classroom chime in unison "All things are lawful to you, but not all things are expedient."

Wow! They've got that one down! They mimicked my tonal inflection perfectly--- dramatic pause on the comma and emphasis on the not. I guess I must say that phrase more often than I thought!

I crack up.

And while we all laugh together, somewhere deep in my heart I seem to feel a warm smile widening.

Transfer just happened. I taught them weeks ago that even though it was perfectly lawful for them to overspend their income in credit card debt, it wasn't expedient. God grants the talent of money to those who steward it wisely. They saw that the concept of self-government in the area of money management applied to the area of time management as well and they made the transfer. They not only remembered the concept in the first place but they are already assimilating it practically into their lives!

I love it when that happens.

I love it when a student gets so excited about the class material that he spends five minutes after class enthusiastically gushing that he is going to create a Youtube video of himself explaining the concept "and it's going to go viral, and I'm going to get a million views and Youtube is going to PAY me for putting it on there!!"

This is teaching?
I think I like teaching. I think I like it a lot.
In fact, I can't imagine a life that could be much happier than the one I'm living right now.
As I knock out my last week of college classes (just 6 more assignments to finish!) I'm excited about my future. There have been times during the last four years that I questioned if I'm doing the right thing. Maybe I'd graduate and get in the classroom and end up being one of the 60% of teachers who quit their first year because they can't take it? Maybe my students would hate me? Maybe my disorganized scatter-brain would utterly fail at planning classes?

I don't question anymore. All the hesitation and apprehension is gone. When I'm sitting up on top of the teachers desk in classroom 3, idly kicking my boots against the front side of it (Prewitt-style) as I lead a discussion on Biblical principles of debt, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I'm right where I belong. If puzzle pieces could feel, I think this is how they would feel when they finally get slipped into the place they were designed to fit.

Every heartbeat throbs contentment and peace.
I know my Lord dreams of ways to make me happy, and this is only the proverbial iceburg-tip of the joys He has prepared for my life.

I love this life.

And the irony of it all is that this is everything I never wanted to be.

Me? Teach? At a self-supporting school?? Mmmmm not so much.

I had other plans.
Comfortable plans.
(Selfish plans?)

But the Almighty had better plans for me.

Through every week month year day of uncertainty. Every painful surrender. Every dream lost. He was merely bringing me around into alignment with His will. I couldn't know what I really wanted, what He created me to want, until He brought me to the place where I could see it.

Oh, how gently my Jesus leads! Tenderly He says, "I have many things to tell you, but you can't bear them now." He waits.

How frustrating it must be for Him to watch me stubbornly resist trusting Him when He's only trying to lead me to sweeter happiness! Yet He harbors no resentment.

I like Him.

Back to class prep now....

5 comments:

  1. Wow! Thank you for this post. It is truly encouraging to read. I'm a high school graduate teaching grade 5 near Indonesia, and it is so lovely to read about another teacher. Moments when transfer occurs truly are precious. God bless!

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    1. Praise God for your ministry, my sister! It would be so fun to share stories sometime. :) You are in my prayers.

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  2. I really relate to this - not to the teaching, but to the experience of puzzle pieces falling together. And the never wanting to be part... I'm in my second degree (I know, God had to take me the long way!) studying something I thought I would never study (nursing) and thought I would never enjoy. I feel like I was made for it.. I love how God knows us better than we do!

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  3. I resonate with the joy of teaching! There is NO greater joy in my mind. More than the joy of giving a hungry man a fish, is teaching him to fish for himself. You impact his life. What compares to the influence of a teacher? Christ was a healer, but the greater impact was that of a teacher. It is sobering and humbling when you realize that we all are teachers, in (good or bad) influences on our students, our family, our friends, the acquaintance and stranger. The greatest joy is influencing others for the kingdom of heaven. It does not get any better than that.

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