Be ready in season and out of season.
Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching...
Be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist,
fulfill your ministry.
2 Timothy 4:2,5
This past Friday can go down as one of the most frustrating teaching days I have ever experienced. The day started out with an upset parent and ended up with an 8 year old child throwing a tantrum in my classroom. In between, a whole lot of other things occured that were less than favourable, and all of a sudden I realized that I am in for a challenge this year.
Call it naivity and inexperience. Call it blind faith. Call it whatever you like. I still believe that there is good in each and every one of these children.
They have been trained and raised to fight at every offense taken against them. A misguided word, a crossing of the eyes, the gesture of a hand will send even the smallest one reeling against another.
"My momma said that if anybody gets in my face, I can hit 'em."
Yep, that is truly what their momma's say. And now I believe it. That is all they seem to know. I don't know if I will be able to change their way of thinking. But I sure hope to be planting some seeds of life into their little hearts. We had a long talk about what to do if someone was causing them trouble. Most chirped up with suggestions for beating the other person up. They didn't have any other solutions and I think it is because they've never really been given another solution. So instead of telling them what to think my challenge for them was to think for themselves. The question posed on my front board in the classroom is now, "Can you find a better way?" And that is what I now ask them constantly...whether it be math, or reading, or solving a social problem.
And so I am challenged too. B/c I was so frustrated this weekend that I did not want to go back to school. I wanted to go back to my middle class, suburban children. I had it easy. As I sat in the chair behind my desk, watching the rain fall, fighting back tears, I began to think about the challenge before me. My first thought was to call my professor whom I have always depended on for support and encouragement, and then realized that everything I needed to know she has taught me. And everything I don't know...God will show me along the way. There is more inside of me than I realize I suppose.
I began to think about God's call on my life.
What is call God's call on my life? What has He prepared me for? What is He preparing me for? I have no idea, but I do know that I am on my way somewhere. I know that there are others who need to know Him. So for now, this teaching job IS my ministry. And realizing this was a hard one to swallow. I do not feel like a missionary...I do not feel like a pastor...I do not feel like an intercessor or any of those other labeled ministry jobs. But yet God has placed me here and now I have to respond and do my best.
Fulfilling my ministry in this season is simply loving God and loving the people He has placed in my life. I expected that it would be hard, but I did not expect the emotion that comes with the hardness. I truly need His strength to make it through this year.