I’ve missed you all…
I know we’ve all been bombarded (as is custom with this time of year) with the “Back to School” commercials, news coverage, and store displays as children and parents alike brace themselves for another year of academics and beyond. For those who are not teachers, parents, or in any way connected to a school, you may have forgotten the feelings of excitement, anxiety, nervousness, and hope all rolled into one on the night before a new school year.
I was able to talk to my best friend who is going into her fourth year of teaching middle school science in DC and she described the anxiety that every teacher feels before the start of a school year. She mentioned that while she believes she is the most prepared for this year than she has ever been, she is still nervous about the many things that can go wrong no matter how prepared a teacher is. One thing she expressed that stayed with me is this: No matter how long a teacher has been teaching, he or she will ALWAYS be nervous for the first day. She remarked that a profession in teaching is one that will always require constant growth and development and even the most experienced educators will admit that they will probably never be perfect, but will work towards that perfection until the day they die. Wow.
How true should this be for our walk as Christians? So often we get to a point in our faith where we feel we are “vets” in the game. We know how to pray, and pray with the right conviction. We know how to read the Word, and pronounce all the foreign vocabulary. We know how to fast, and actually do it without breaking it. But what if we took the attitude of veteran teachers, and decided that in our walk, we will have NEVER mastered the art of Christianity, but still strive for that perfection? God is constantly working on the inside of us, transforming our lives to reflect that of Christ. Just like we are required to attend professional development in our careers, God requires the same in our faith. How often do we attend sessions catered to growing spiritually? When was the last time you signed up for classes offered at your church? When was the last time you took notes in church? I know that in my career, I am driven by data and goals that I am responsible for hitting. Ever consider setting benchmarks and goals for your growth in Christ? Maybe you could set a reading goal for the Word. A few chapters a week, with analysis and reflections. Chart your completion on graph paper. Perhaps you could set evangelism and witnessing goals; 5 souls in one month. Great teachers become even stronger educators because they allow others to observe them and give them feedback. When was the last time you asked someone close to you for feedback on your spiritual growth or lack thereof?
I suppose its time we start taking our Christian growth as serious as we take our career growth. I don’t know about you, but I care wayyy more about being called higher in God than being promoted on my job. In many cases, the former leads to the latter. I hope this gives you some food for thought. Love you all and happy new school year to all the wonderful educators that give their lives for others every day. You are appreciated.