Number one is when that boy of mine stumbles down the stairs in the morning, to eat a bowl of cereal in his sleep –my first encounter with another human being for this day. I say, Good Morning, nice and easy, because I always remember Solomon’s advice, “He who blesses his friend with a loud voice early in the morning, it will be reckoned a curse to him.” (Proverbs 27:14 NIV)
Then I bend over and kiss the still toasty-warm neck of that 6’ frame.
From there the interactions pick up speed…
Coffee and a kiss out the door for my man.
Facebook and email responses.
Then teenagers filling every surface area of my classroom with backpacks and long legs sticking out from under narrow tables.
And I can’t fake it –the fruit of the Spirit that I so much want to demonstrate to one person at a time. All the conversations are unscripted, and most take me off guard. I don’t know what the frustrations will be or how hard they’ll punch the back of my knees to drop me to the ground.
I don’t know who will need encouragement.
There’s no way to manufacture love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)
I have to be filled with it.
Which means before that lanky boy’s alarm goes off I had better spend time with Jesus.
They’ll know if we’re just trying to be good by yanking upward on our own bootstraps or if we’re good because we have died to self and Jesus has taken over.