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|They’re Standing in Line to Become Teachers
By: Dr. Skip Myers
web posted August 1, 2005
Today I had the honor of once again leading our annual Teacher Institute Worship Service. This worship experience is given for our school system’s employees the morning they return to work. Now for those of you who are concerned with separation of church and state issues, let me assure you that attendance at this service is strictly voluntary. And yet, it is refreshing to see that so many educators in our area recognize the importance of spiritual preparation as being greater than classroom preparation.
As I stood to share with the teachers, administrators, and support staff, the reality of a popular bumper sticker came to mind: “If you can read this, thank a teacher.” I looked down at the pages of my Bible and the symbols made words, the words made sentences, the sentences made sense, and God’s love for me became clearer. All because a group of dedicated professionals would not give up on a little boy who continually tried their skills and patience. To all the teachers out there, thank you for not giving up and staying with a profession where you are underpaid and under-appreciated.
I have had a number of teachers in my life. Many of whom I still remember today. Their names and faces have been etched in my mind as deeply as the lessons they taught. Great teachers always impact as much as the great lessons they teach. I will spare you the trip down memory lane but will invite you to engage in one of your own. See the faces and realize what your life would be like if you had not had the chance to learn the lessons they taught. If you are reading this, find a teacher and say thanks.
You may have ended your days of formal education but think about all the things in life that line up each morning just waiting to be your teacher for the day. Many of their lessons have become etched in our minds and effect the way we live. And there are tests with these lessons as well. Love is tested, patience is tested, fidelity is tested, faith is tested, and our grade is determined by who we see as our Master Teacher in life. Whose lessons will we pay the most attention to? Will we sit in the back of the classroom and let our minds wonder?
Jesus told His disciples that “One is our Teacher.” The One to whom He was referring is the Lord Himself. If I make up my mind that each day Jesus will be my Master Teacher and all other lesson plans must flow through Him, then I stand a better chance of actually learning from life instead of being defeated by it. We will choose a master teacher each day and in each situation. The line of possible teachers is endless and showcases an array of opposites: love or hate; positive or negative; stress or joy; hope or despair; right or wrong; human or spiritual.
Make me know Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for You I will wait all the day.
God wants me to know His way and understand His truth. When I make the decision each day to allow Him to become my Master Teacher, I can be assured that He will teach me. And I can also be assured there will be opportunities to apply these truths. I’ve often wondered if there is no opportunity to apply lessons, have I really learned anything? That’s why the writer asks the Lord to “make me know Your ways” by putting what the Lord teaches me into practice. Make it a part of my life and the way I react to life. Head knowledge is of little value and is easily forgotten if it isn’t given the chance to become life knowledge.
Don’t jump at the first thing that applies for the job of life teacher. Wait for the Lord. Demonstrate your passion for Him by refusing to settle for less than the truth. After all, it’s all the Lord will give you. He cannot give less than the best. He offers a path to life that He will direct and absolute truth is the foundation upon which this path is built. What an educational deal! All you have to do is enroll in the course and begin a relationship with the Teacher.
Remember Jesus said, “I came that you might have life and have it more abundantly.” If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you are living it, thank the Lord.
Dr. Myers is Pastor of Smiths Station Baptist Church, Smiths Station Alabama and a former Youth Minister of Sweetwater Baptist Church (1981-1986)
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