When You Want to Influence Someone’s Life
It’s Monday morning, and today the bell will ring at 12:12. I will open the door of my Spanish room to a Baskin Robbins of people. Shy, outgoing, hardworking, not-so-hardworking, cheerful, intelligent, artistic, athletic, whitty. They’ll be hungry, because they’re teenagers, and they’ll want to talk to each other much more than they’ll want to hear from me.
I love them.
And I will have 43 minutes to influence their lives. That doesn’t seem like very long, but it is long enough for my life to be a part of theirs.
Long enough to look each student in the eye.
Long enough to ask if a sick one is feeling better.
Long enough to snap at the one who won’t work.
Long enough to write Bien Hecho (good work) on an assignment.
Long enough to teach and explain a foreign language.
Long enough to have 43 opportunities to practice patience.
And I always feel a little afraid.
You’ve had one of those dreams, where you show up for something important, and you’re not fully clothed. You forgot your pants or something horrifying like that.
Paul says, “…clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” (Colossians 3:12 NIV)
My fear –that in my precious 43 minutes I’ll turn out to be half dressed in my interactions with students. I don’t want to look down and see I’m lacking gentleness or patience. I don’t want to have mistakenly put on harshness where there should have been compassion and kindness.
What I want, right now as I’m getting ready for the day, is to drip grace all afternoon in my classroom.
God help me.
All it takes is 60 seconds of spiritual nakedness to miss an opportunity to be good and kind.
How many minutes will you have with people today?
Are you dressed to meet them?
Those are kind words. Thank you.
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