This time of year, no matter where I go in the education world, the climate is similar to what you’d find in a pressure cooker! We are all under the gun… The state and feds have set the standards, and we must perform. Our curriculum the past few months has closely resembled what our students will see on the test. Fun stuff! Not really, we’d rather be using our creative skills to enhance our students lives. They tell us don’t teach to the test, but most don’t feel they have any other choice. Our days are filled with teaching, meetings, and tutoring. The count down to the test has begun and we can’t decide whether we can’t wait for it to arrive so it will finally be over, or wish we could postpone it even longer. Oftentimes, many of us become tired and a little edgy this time of year. Words of affirmation and encouragement seem to be few and far between. So, as a Christian teachers how do we cope with these pressures and stress differently from our peers? Oswald Chambers sums it up so clearly in his devotional, My Utmost for His Highest.
“If we are going to live as disciples of Jesus, we have to remember that all noble things are difficult. The Christian life is gloriously difficult, but the difficulty of it does not make us faint and cave in, it rouses us to overcome. Do we so appreciate the marvelous salvation of Jesus Christ that we are our utmost for His highest? It takes a tremendous amount of discipline to live the noble life of a disciple of Jesus in actual things. It is always necessary to make an effort to be noble.”
We must remember in these difficult days when we feel such intense pressure, that God has placed us exactly where he wants us to be. He will provide us with the strength needed to be different in an environment that screams difficulty. The only thing we have to do today is serve him. We must give up the details of everyday to Him.
“It is inbred in us that we have to do exceptional things for God; but we have not. We have to be exceptional in the ordinary things, to be holy in mean streets, among mean people, and this is not learned in five minutes.” Oswald Chambers
My fellow educators, we are called to be different. The God of the universe is waiting on us to call on Him for help. Stop trying to venture through these final days of the school year on your own strength. The ultimate source of strength is His word.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end. Proverbs 29:11
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3: 5-6
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:31-32
These few verses bring hope, light and accountability to our walk with Christ. Dig down and remember why you wanted to become and educator. It is often hard to recall when stress takes over this time of year. I’m praying for all of you and believe that through Christ, you can transform the world, one classroom at a time!