What I Wish You Knew . . .

I wish you knew

We’re selfish. By nature. We don’t understand when others get things we don’t. We don’t know why everything can’t be fair. And in the classroom, sometimes, I hear a lot of complaining about that. But I am your teacher, and I wish you knew . . .

  • That student left class early because they are on the way to a meeting with their oncologist to discuss new treatment options.
  • I know who is cheating.  I know how too.  But I also know you will learn a valuable lesson on test day when you can’t cheat and you still have to be able to answer the question. Or, you won’t learn that lesson at all and get what you deserve.
  • I accepted that student’s homework late because her child has been at Children’s for the last week and a half.
  • I ignored that student’s question because I know she missed what I said the last ten minutes of class because she was playing on her phone.
  • Your classmate gets to borrow my book because although she bought one she can no longer access it.  Why? Because she had to flee an abusive relationship and left all her possessions in the process.
  • That student who seems to be understanding everything in class has spent three hours in my office this week.
  • That student wears long sleeves in class because he has had so much blood work this month he looks like an addict.  And they still don’t know what is making him sick.  Please don’t bother him about his clothing choice.
  • The reason your classmate cried when they got their paper back is it was their first time taking a test with new accommodations and they just made their first C (their highest grade) on a math test ever.
  • That student sleeps in class sometimes because he just finished working four twelve hour shifts.
  • I really don’t know where that student in your class went.  They haven’t responded to any of my attempts to contact them and I am very worried.
  • I take my job seriously.  I chose this job.  Most week’s I cry more tears for you than my own children.
  • You’ll never know the sacrifices my family makes for me to be here.
  • You’ll never know what the person beside you is going through.

Maybe that’s a good thing?  I want you to learn to be sympathetic to others without having to know how hard it is for them.  I want you to get to spend your time here without the worries they have.  I want you to know I understand you have bad days too.  Because one day you are going to face the tough stuff.  One day you will understand the struggles of #adulting aren’t wearing pants and paying for your own cell phone. #adulting is having a clear vision of the big picture (the good, the bad, the ugly) and still getting up and putting your pants on.  It’s admitting you can’t do it on your own and submitting every day to the One Who Can.  Oh and it’s praying.  It’s a LOT of praying.


Not Even A Little Bit

How much does God want to see you suffer? Not even a little bit.

He is for, beside, around, inside you. A lot. It’s his peace that carries you past the point of understanding the incomprehensible. His joy that flexes in the face of the frailty of our fear.

How much does God want to see you fail? Not even a little bit.

His Word is the way that lights up our every possible step. It shines into our every season. His Spirit is the still the small voice that pierces uncertainty and calms the raging of tumultuous emotion. 

How much does God want to see you quit? Not even a little bit.

His hope is our help. His Son is our sure thing. His favor our final word. His Church is our cheerleader. His mission is our motivation.

God wants every bit of who you are to love and lean into him. How much is he willing to leave to you for yourself? Not even a little bit.

Hindsight: Add Value

I’m older today. Though not exactly old. This last year has brought a few unexpected, yet God-ordained, transitions that have been wonderful blessings in their own right. I’ve learned a lot of stuff in my life. But it all boils down to this.

Learn how to add value to people’s lives and you will never be without friends, job, cause to live for, something that matters, purpose that wakes you up in the morning, and a reason to keep on breathing.

Life is about more than just yourself. Life is about more than having the latest things, wearing the latest things, driving the latest things, knowing the latest things. Life—and the only thing that really matters right when you boil it all down to the bare essentials—is all about connecting to others, and helping others connect to God. The best, broadest, purest, and the simplest way is to learn to live, love, and add value to another person’s life.

Life lived for yourself is a roller coaster, up one day and down the next—good and bad, great and worse. But life lived for others is never about you. It keeps the eye on the prize. It keeps the main thing the main thing.

You can never go wrong not living for yourself. You can never go wrong putting others first.

Another word we use for that sometimes is humility. Sometimes people think humility is about thinking less of yourself. That’s not true. Humility is about thinking of yourself less.

What could be more humbling than a life lived in pursuit of adding value to the lives of others. Agree?
Thanks for reading. God bless.