Facing our Dragons
Written Spring of 2008
I recently took on a long term substitute teaching position after not teaching for four years. Although I have a Master’s of Education degree, it’s been a struggle of facing my fears. At times it feels like I’m slaying dragons within myself. The first dragon I had to face was simply the courage to get up in front of a group of high school students each day and lead a class for 40 minutes, 5 times a day. It took at least 3 weeks of over-adrenalized nerves till the practice became tolerable. Unfortunately, my health didn’t like the sleepless nights and I had to struggle additionally with a fever and bronchial cough. The next dragon was the patience to teach kids that didn’t necessarily want to learn. Patience is key in teaching and at times I have no extra levels to draw from. Patience when you don’t feel able to concentrate on what you want to say because the classroom is too busy with noise. Patience when you are spoken to in a degrading way. Patience when students seem to find it difficult to keep their eyes on their own test paper. Patience when you really don’t want to see another teenager again…
But recently I found the verses in John 21: 18-19: Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go. Follow me!”
I can attest to the fact that God is still in the business of leading us where we don’t want to go and stretching us in new ways that we don’t want to experience. I only pray that in this stretching process I can truly grow in the ways of God and not resist his leading and teaching. How is God stretching you today?