Ephesians 4:11-12 says, “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and TEACHERS, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” Those who are called by God to be teachers have that directive straight from God. However, to become a certified teacher for a public school, you must prove mastery in the subject you will teach. This usually means at least four years of college and some internship time. But no matter how many hours of college you attend, books you read, or times you watch “The Ron Clark Story”, a teacher learns the most from other teachers. We pass the torch through example, and comfort the new ones as they are shaped by their inevitable mishaps and mistakes. I was so blessed to have two aunts in my family, who were teachers, to inspire me, but I was doubly blessed to be placed next to some wise and patient mentors my first 3 years of teaching. They were my inspiration, my sounding board, and my comforters. Thank you, God, for each of them!
Today, I had the honor of learning from a very seasoned teacher. A wise person once told me that if a seasoned person speaks, you should listen with every bone in your body. But it wasn’t hard to listen to this woman. I hung on her every word. I knew I needed to soak up any wisdom she was willing to offer. This woman, affectionately termed “Grandma” by so many, is so full of God that her words come out in song most of the time. The Holy Spirit will do that to you…fill you up so that you are bursting forth a melody that touches everyone.
Her teaching began with some familiar methods that everyone would do well to incorporate into every part of their life; giving value to every idea big or small, encouraging us to use our voices and be brave, pushing us to think beyond what we thought we knew. Then, she did something I didn’t expect. She caused us to look at ourselves through another’s eyes in the form of a simple interview. The second question was monumental…”When did you accept Christ?” Someone was asking me what my story was.
It occurred to me that I have not told you, my dear readers, my story…so here it is:
I was six years old. I know it sounds young, but I was a highly curious child and already asking the harder and deeper questions at that age. My mother was always willing to answer my questions and tried to give me as much information as I could handle. We were driving down the road in our old pickup truck. The windows were down and a nice warm breeze was blowing in. I don’t know how the conversation started, but it somehow led to me wondering how I could make sure I go to heaven someday because it sounded so wonderful. My mother didn’t miss a beat as she explained that I only had to ask Jesus into my heart, to be my Lord, and I would be saved.
“…if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;” Romans 10:9 NKJV
By the way, the best answer to any question is one that can be backed by Scripture. Thank you, God, for my mother! Right there on the bench seat of that pickup, in my jean overalls, I bowed my little head and closed my little eyes. I asked God to come into my heart and be my Lord. The moment I whispered those words, a fatherly voice gently and clearly said, “You are a child of God.” Although I was blessed with a wonderful earthly father, this was my heavenly Father speaking the most beautiful words I will ever hear.
Today, I learned that to be a teacher, we must know who we are first. Not our position in our job, our political affiliation, our socioeconomic status, or our level of sports interest…who we are in our soul. Only then, can we be the teacher God expects us to be.