Teaching

Teach Me These Words

Blog_KidWithBookMy son piled books on the couch, next to me, until they towered so high one wrong move would send them crashing down. I woke up early that day, anticipating some much-needed quiet time, but my son had other ideas about how I should spend that time. “Teach me these words,” he pleaded, adding another book to the pile.

Admitted: at this point, I was too tired and desperate for some alone time to be taken in by his charming smile and heart-melting dimples. “How about you look through the pictures in your books while Mommy reads her Bible?” I suggested. “We’ll work on teaching you those words later.”

He reluctantly obliged, though my devotional time was consumed with one thought. Among my greatest of missions in life will be to teach the next generation the power of words—how to speak them, handle them, read them, and write them.

I’d spent the days prior at a writers’ conference, learning to hone my craft. Yet what’s the point of writing to the greatest of my potential if the next generation doesn’t benefit from it? Writing is a high calling, but my higher call involves teaching my kids and my students.

Much of what I’ve written has remained in obscurity for twenty-plus years. It’s just now that I’m teaching some of my songs to my own kids, and to the kids in my classroom, and reading them stories written years ago. I’ve learned that my labors were never meant to benefit me, but generations to come.

The same is true in anything we may be called to do. It’s not ultimately about us chasing our dreams, fulfilling our calling. It’s about investing in the next generation, helping them to find and fulfill their purpose in life.

“Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the LORD.” (PSALM 102:18)

 

Photo Credit: Child And Book Free Stock Photo – Public Domain Pictures

Empty

Blog_EmptyRoomMy classroom is empty. And yes, I am breathing a sigh of relief, short-lived as it may be. After a few days, I’ll be going through withdrawals from my students. After a few weeks, I’ll be begging their parents to send them to summer school because I’ll miss them that much.

A year ago around this time, I was preparing my classroom for the kids. In the school where I work, we have the privilege of being as creative as we want with the materials, so it was a lot of fun setting everything up. By the end of the summer, after much hard work, everything was in place. Admitted, it was hard watching the kids mess it all up when they first plowed through the doors. I had to remind myself that’s what it’s all about—the kids, not the classroom.

It’s like that in life. We have our plans set, our schedules in order, and then life happens. Things get out of order. Our schedule gets overrun by other, more important things. And that’s how it should be.

For many years, I worked in an outreach ministry. We’d spend many hours planning and preparing for events and services. Then the people would come, and we’d have to remember…it’s not about the program, it’s about the people. Who wants a ministry full of programs yet void of people?

Days are meant to be filled, and life is meant to be full. That doesn’t always mean our schedules have to be unbendable, our plans unbreakable. When people come through and the order of our day veers from our original intent, maybe that’s how it was meant to be.

Empty rooms may be peaceful, but they are just that…empty. There are times when we need solitude and order, but there are times when we need to be interrupted by more important things. And it is in those important things that we will be filled.

 

Photo Credit: the big empty room | Flickr – Photo Sharing!