A ‘Tough’ Day
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!”
Dr. Seuss wrote these words in his famous book Oh, the /places You’ll Go! and they are read by graduating High School Seniors everywhere. I got this book from my mom at my High School graduation, flipping through the pages and thinking about my future, it made me cry. I took it out to read a time or two during college, maybe once more as I packed it away before I came down to Haiti, but not since. Working at a school Dr. Seuss seems to have found his way back into my life.
Friday wasn’t such a great day for me and I can tell you Dr. Seuss and his fantasy land of Thing One and Thing TWO were very far from my mind. My students however were very much everywhere I turned. Thank goodness for the Chinese who first invented sunglasses to hide emotion because my teary eyes were masked.
I had two classes to get thru to finish out my day and I could not fathom how I was going to pull it off. As soon as I turned around to walk out the gate to go home and eat my lunch in solitude BAM, there was my answer. I was face to face with a student, big grin on his face, ghosting me all the way thru the gate. I couldn’t help but laugh. Turning, the only thought in my head “these kids, Lord, thank you for these kids.”
They are my life, they are my joy and I am ever thankful for them. They get me through my day time and time again.
And when the path gets dark, as we know it eventually will:
“And when you’re in a Slump,
Youre not in for much fun.
Is not easily done.”
Luckily I don’t have to un-slump myself. My students are there to make me laugh, my friends are here to offer words of encouragement, and my heart stands strong to rest in my faith.
“Truly my soul finds rest in God,
my salvation comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation,
He is my fortress, I will never be shaken.”
I am in the center of His will. I put both my fear and my trust in Him and I will never be shaken.
When I doubt and fear creeps in, God sends me countless reminders and blessings that help me realize I am exactly where I am called to be. My students. Living, breathing blessings. Joy. Happiness. Hope.
I am so blessed. I think about Ann Voskamp and the challenge of 1,000 blessings I am on.
My students, Lord, I thank you for the blessing they are to me. I thank you for their inquisitive minds, their expressive spirits, their excitement, their drive, their joy, their purpose.
And so I pick myself up and I go to class. I get through my lesson and decide I need to take some time to get into real life with my students. We put the books away and we talk. I pull up the encouraging words of Ann and read them with my students; Why You’re never ever really a failure.
I read this as part of my morning devotions: “ If you’re not willing to look goofy in the eyes of others at some point, you will never make it to your God-sized dream.” Ann Voskamp
I thought of my students, preparing college applications, writing essays, discussing their futures with each other, their parents, themselves. Afraid of failure, afraid of their futures, afraid of the un-known. But we can’t be afraid of the un-known. Being afraid of fear, is that possible? We can fear ourselves, we can fear others; fear the future, fear our fate, but are we just getting in the way of ourselves.
I thought of myself, am I my own worst enemy? What am I so afraid of? The Bible tells me to fear God; am I fearing God or am I too busy fearing myself?
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” (Proverbs 1:7) Ecclesiastes concludes “Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of every human being.”(Ecclesiastes 12:13) I have no one to fear but the Lord. And yet, too often I allow the fears of this world to creep in. Death, failure, sin, faults, pain…
“I’m afraid that some times
You’ll play lonely games too.
Games you cant win
Cause you’ll play against you.”
Seuss has it right again. I’m in my own way.
And so I stood in front of my students and tried to hold back my tears. I left my fear of what they might think of me and I opened my heart to them. When it was over and I told them what they mean to me. I see hope in them. I see joy and beauty and bright futures. Peace. God has put me in this place, with these people, these students, these faces. Sometimes it’s not so easy and we fall into a slump.
“Except when they don’t.
Because, sometimes, they won’t.”
“And when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants. There are some, down the road between hither and yon, that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.”
And I drift back to Seuss and his kind loving words:
“Somehow you’’ll escape
All that waiting and staying.
You’ll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing.”
And at times I might feel it’s just me and alone, I am reminded to look up at the bright light shining…. I am never alone, for I walk in the light.
“For you, God tested us;
you refined us like silver.
You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs.
You let people ride over our heads;
we went through fire and water,
but you brought us to a place of abundance.”
Psalm 67: 10-12
I can tell you of Friday I was not alone. I felt God in my heart and got hugs all day long. And to my students I want to say,
“Your mountain is waiting.
So….get on your way!” Seuss
I am so proud to call you all mine!
Posted on September 23, 2013, in 2013 and tagged Ann Voskamp, Beauty, blessed, difficulty, Dr. Seuss, education, friends, grace, Haiti, peace, proud, Psalm, students, teaching. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.