January 16, 2013

Not Satisfied

Preparing to teach my speech class I have been spending hours this week compiling a resource of good short speech videos that I can show my class.
Graduation speeches, TED talks, famous pieces like the Gettysburg address. They teach me everything from the power of vulnerability to how to use less paper towels to dry my hands. Some are good, others horrible. But one riveted my attention, churned my emotions, accelerated my heartbeat as my fixated eyes took in the scene of a simple man in the shadow of the Lincoln memorial and my head wondered how I, a red blooded American had never before paused to listen to the entirety of these words.

"I have a dream that one day my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today."

The speech finished, I moved on with my lesson plan, created my quiz, got my PowerPoint in order. But a portion of my mind stayed staring at that image of a man who gave his life in the fulfillment of the dream that was his passion.

"We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self hood and robbed of their dignity by signs saying "For Whites Only... No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until 'justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.'"

Not satisfied.

Never satisfied until the end.

Enduring until the final goal is reached.

Not "until the end is in sight"

But until the finish line is yards behind me and the trophy is irrevocably mine.

Oh, yes..
I must always to be satisfied in Jesus.
Content in His providence.
Trustful of His leading.
I don't mean that.

I will be content with Him but never satisfied with myself.
Never content what I have already attained.

To be content with spiritual knowledge or depth of experience is to be complacent. To be complacent is to be Laodicean. And to be Laodicean is to be a lost sinner.

And I?
I have hovered there these past weeks.
Frustrated and saddened with my GYC experience. (Dare I say it?)
Taken from the canvassing work that keeps me flat on my face pleading His mercy and His moment-by-moment help.

The complacent man makes no effort for anything. Why should he?
He already has his trophy.
Cheap trophy it may be, but it is in hand. He has nothing more for which to reach.

The words ring in my subconscious, with Martin Luther King Jr's unmistakable punch:
We will not be satisfied......

Hours later, I sat on the back row of classroom 2, typing up a "Structured Observation" of the class period.
Salvi leaned in close, "What is that?"

I told him, showing him my six page checklist of required assignments for my teaching portfolio.

He stared for a moment, then turned with an incredulous look on his face. "You're going to be a teacher? Why? What makes you want to be a teacher?"

Clearly he couldn't fathom why on earth anyone would willingly choose to be in a classroom!

"Why, Miss Beth? Why do you want to be a teacher?"

"Because I love people." I told him, saying I would explain more sometime out of class and re-directing his attention to the front.

But in that moment I knew.
It clicked.
Passion and daily life had once again intersected and locked into place.

I'm not a teacher because I have Biblical knowledge to impart, or spiritual experience to share.
I am a teacher because I'm dissatisfied.

There are higher pastures. Greener fields farther up the mountain and I cannot stop until they are reached.

I'm not a teacher because I am a strong spiritual person but because I am a weak one and God knew that putting me in the position of sharing truth (immersing me in the study of His word) was His best chance at saving me.

I'm a teacher because I have a dream.

It's His dream.

And with the clouds of self rolled away I can see a clearer view of it. It beckons me to come higher, to work for it, to lose my security, my selfishness, or my sleep in the struggle to obtain it.

He has a dream that one day every wound will be bound up and every heavy heart made glad with the oil of gladness. That the girl who suffered terrible abuse before she was removed from it at the age of five,who has never known the joy of close connection with a friend because she is afraid, will be set free to love.

He has a dream that the shackles of shame will be broken. That the young person chained to lustful habits will be set free.

He has a dream that the heart of the rash will learn knowledge. (And that's my heart, every impulsive, headstrong fiber of it.)

He has a dream that every young person made in the image of God who has been diverted and distracted, broken and bloodied, will one day be a practical, noble, honorable, intelligent, Holy-Spirit filled man who cannot be bought or sold.

He has a dream that this self-centered soul of mine will be a humble, teachable, pliable instrument. Tender and willing to fit into His dreams wherever needed.

And unlike King, He has creative power. When He forgives He re-creates.
Old things are passed away, all things are become new.

And I press on.

Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended:but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3

May I never. Ever. Rest satisfied.


  1. Amen. May we never, ever, rest satisfied until His (Christ's) dream is fulfilled in us... Thanks for sharing, Beth.

  2. Yea! You have found the reason for everything. I'm so glad you have your passion back! Go for it Beth! Teach with your whole heart.