Classroom set-up, lesson-planning, Open House— the list is endless for teachers scrambling to get it all done before that first day of school. In addition, contrary to what our little students think, we don’t live at school. We lead full- and often over-filled lives at home, ensuring our own family has all their school supplies, including that obscure item not found within a hundred-mile radius of the last place we looked. After that harried first week, when the grumbling about the cold-cereal-for-dinner starts, it’s enough to make even a seasoned teacher join her new charges in a full-blown, sprawled-on-the-floor, melt-down.
How do we DO this? While we may begin in our own strength, our lives inside and out of the classroom will unravel faster than shoelaces on a three-year-old if we rely solely on our own indoor voices and walking feet.
Thankfully, we have this promise from 2 Peter 1:3:
[God’s] divine power has given us absolutely everything necessary for life and godliness, through true and personal knowledge of Him who called us…”
The same power that said, “‘Let their be light!’ And there was light,” has empowered us with everything we need for life- not some things, but everything we need. What do you need right now? If it falls under the category of everything, it’s yours. Because Jesus Himself is our Everything, and in Him we are able to succeed, even when- or especially when- our own ability equals the scissor skills of a toddler. Our deficiencies force us to lean more fully on Christ, and discover that “His grace is sufficient” and “when we are weak, then we are strong in Him.”.
He has given us power to live godly lives; to “speak the truth in love” in that dreaded parent/teacher conference, to gently redirect (again) the child who thinks circle time is a group wrestling match, and power to create a place of learning that prompts both child and parent to say, “In this place, there was joy. In this place, I was loved; and it had everything to do with Jesus.”
Soon it’ll be the first day of preschool. There’ll be lots of tears. You will console, distract, bargain, and hand out tissues. Some may hide, crouched in bushes during outdoor playtime. But eventually all those anxious parents will wave good-bye and leave you to your job. And what is your job? To believe and grow in the One who loves you and chose you for this ministry; and to rest in the knowledge that He’s given you everything need for life and godliness, and this gift of teaching.