“Whew! I’m not as young as I used to be,” I panted after running down the hall after a three-year-old this morning. Today, I returned to the classroom as a teacher for the first time in over 20 years. What a challenge!
In my younger years, I was a full time fourth-grade teacher. That was the hardest job I ever had. Now I teach reading and language skills to preschoolers through music. It’s just a couple of mornings a week, but at this age, that’s probably about all my mind and body can take.
So why return to teaching at this late stage? Because I have always loved working with children. Although I haven’t been a formal classroom teacher in all those years, I have been quite active in youth ministry as a choir director and music instructor. And God has been faithful to show me that teaching me is a part of my God-given assignment.
What is different this time is that I now understand that not only am I there to teach the children, but they are there to teach me. They will teach me how to smile continuously, laugh uncontrollably, and imagine limitlessly. Lessons I need at this stage in life. Lessons that will help me in my Christian walk as I learn to smile through my trials, laugh in the joy of the Lord, and imagine with God the plans He has for me.
What is different, too, is that I know now, more than ever, the importance of carrying God with me throughout my day rather than just leaving Him on the shelf after I finish my morning devotion (I Thessalonians 5:17). On the way to school, I should be praying for His wisdom, His insight and His creativity to know how best to interact with the children. I need to know how to let His light shine through me (Matthew 5:16) to reach them. And I need to know how to pick up on the light that is inside each of them to bring out their best.
So after I stop panting and catch my breath, I am reminded of a song I love called “Gotta Have You” (Jonathan McReynolds, Entertainment One US, April 2015). This song makes me smile because, in very few words, it conveys the message of how much I need the Lord (John 15:5). In the midst of my day, in the midst of my life, in the midst of “a world of changes,” I need Him. The song has an uplifting message and a cool, energetic vibe—just the thing I need to get and keep me motivated when working with the children.
I recommend you listen to this song if you want to lift your spirits and reflect on the goodness of God. Think about what God has done in your life, about where He has brought you from, and about how much He continues to love you today and every day. (Jeremiah 31:3)
As for me, I am ready to face a new day with the children. I am ready for the triumphs as well as the challenges. I’m ready for the learning and the fun, for the smiles, the laughter and the imaginations. But what I’m not so sure I’m ready for is another early morning run down the school hallway, but the Lord will bring to my remembrance just what to do to handle that too. (Philippians 4:13)
“Oh, Lord. Gotta have you.”
“Gotta Have You,” Jonathan McReynolds, Entertainment One US, April 2015