(originally written January 5, 2015 …. I thank God that since then He has given me the reassurance that my right here, right now is exactly what He wants for me)
So today is the first day back to school after Christmas break. In my house this morning, there was a lot of whining, grumbling, and crying as Aaron and I tried to pry two sleepy little boys out of their beds.
Big brother Smithers (sometimes we call him that) is on the top bunk and, when we try to wake him up, he retreats to the farthest corner of his bed, out of arms’ reach and curls up into a little ball. Aaron has to climb up onto the top bunk and drag him over to the edge so that I can “catch” him by an arm and a leg and, together, we lift him over the railing and out of bed.
(That particular process is loads of fun when Aaron is gone and I am by myself in the mornings…. But that’s a story for another day.)
Meanwhile, once little brother Charlie wakes up, he makes demands from the bottom bunk such as:
“Mama, come sit with me!”,
“I want a drink!”
“Scratch my back!”
“I want Mickey Mouse!”
and our current favorite: “Pick me up! My legs are broken!”
Needless to say mornings are a barrel of laughs at my house.
As much as my boys really did not want to return to the daily routine after two weeks at home I must admit I was just as hesitant to return to my school as they were to theirs’.
I have been a high school theatre arts teacher for twelve years, but now ….
I just don’t know anymore.
Is this what I have been called to do?
Is this what I am meant to do with my life?
Maybe this is what God called me to, but do we get only one calling in life?
I don’t think so. I think God calls us to many different things at different times in our life and we have to listen to His voice.
So I don’t know what the future may hold. I don’t know where I may be when school starts back in August or at this time next year but I do know that I am here now.
I do know that we have to begin where we are and we have to be ready to be used by God.
If I am not ready and willing to be used by God in my here and now how can He have anything more in mind for me or through me for my future?
As I think about my here and now Luke 16:10 comes to mind:
“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.”
And I ask myself: Is it any “little” thing that I have the opportunity and the privilege to teach and interact with over 100 teenagers in my classroom every day?
Is it “little” that, through theatre, we have the chance to share our stories and our lives?
Is it “little” that I am still in contact with students I taught in my first years of teaching, that our relationships don’t end once they graduate?
The very best thing about my job is no “little” thing; the relationships that are made and developed with my students are priceless treasures to me.
They may stay in my classroom only 4 years but they stay in my heart forever.
And they bless my life in ways they will never know.
So now I must decide, for the students that I serve in my here and now, do I merely just show up and go through the motions or do I show up with my whole heart, my whole soul and be ready and willing to be used by God, giving Him all that I have and all that I am right here, right now.
As Paul says in Philippians 4:11-13: “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
If Paul could be content in Christ while chained to a wall in a filthy prison cell surely I can look to Christ for my contentment while in my searching.
I do know that right here, right now I want to be a faithful servant of the Lord.
From right here, right now I want to raise my hand high into the air, as Isaiah does in Isaiah 6:8 and proclaim:
“Here I am. Send me!”
I know that if I show up for God, He will show up to me.
My prayer for today:
God, please help me to look to Your Son Jesus Christ and not my present circumstances to find my joy in You, my contentment through You, and my peace from You. Please help me to focus on being ready and willing to be used by You right here, right now. Please open my eyes to see You, my ears to listen for Your voice, and the awareness to look for Your hand in my present moment. Please help me to be fully present and content by starting where I am and giving myself over to be used by You. God, I ask that you work in me and through me today as I encounter students, colleagues, administrators and parents. And please help me to remember as Paul writes in Colossians 3:23 that
“whatever I do, to work at it with all my heart, as I am working for You, my Lord, not human masters.”
In Jesus’ name I pray