“I give you sound learning, so do not forsake my teaching.”-Proverbs 4:1-3
As a youth pastor, there is never a shortage of teachable moments. There are kids who are still learning social cues; how to communicate without yelling; how to communicate with confidence; how to communicate without yelling and with confidence to the opposite gender; and so on.
There are times where I want to scream, but the reality of it is, I was there once too. I was a kid who had to learn how to communicate well, heck, I am an adult who still needs to learn how to communicate well, sometimes. I was a kid who was lacking self-confidence, so I would take out my aggression in wrong ways. I had a lot to learn.
One of my most memorable moments as a kid was in fourth grade. Mrs. Morowski (I think that’s how you spell it) was an amazing teacher, just in case I will call her Mrs. M going forward. She loved her students and would hand out licorice to kids who brought in golf balls so she could give them to her husband. I never looked so hard for golf balls in my life.
She used to do a math challenge game. She would have a student stand behind another student who was sitting. She would call out a multiplication problem, from 3’s to 9’s, and the first to answer correctly would move on. If the person standing got it right, they would move to the next person sitting down, if they got it wrong, they would sit down in the seat and the person sitting would take their spot. Again, I think that’s how it worked, because I never moved from my seat. I was horrible at math!
One day during the game, I broke down crying. I couldn’t get the questions right and I felt defeated. Mrs. M saw my struggle and pulled me aside before I left for lunch. I remember her words, “Bobby, you can do this. You just have to believe you can. You are a smart kid (I’m sure she used air quotes in her mind), but you don’t think it. I will be here at 7:30, 30 minutes before school starts, and I want you here to walk with me and work on your 9’s.”
I showed up the next morning and several mornings after to work on my 9’s, then my 7’s, and then my 4’s. I started to figure it out. I still never found myself out of my seat, but I was getting the answers correct. I was slower than others, but I knew how to get the problem solved.
Mrs. M was a great teacher and loved me enough to teach instead of look at me as a lost cause.
This is how Christ works with us. He understands our struggles. He knows our doubts. He sees what we fail to see in ourselves.
However, He doesn’t throw His hands up in the air and walk away. He steps to us, kneels down, and reveals to us the things we need to know. He beckons us to walk with Him and let Him work with us in our flaws and insecurities. He longs for us to seek His teaching. He steps with us into the darkness and sheds light on what we couldn’t see.
He never misses the teachable moments. We have to be willing to be taught. It might mean waking up early and walking in circles until we figure out what He’s teaching, but sooner or later, we will get it.
QUESTION: What IS God Teaching You Today?
For Reference: I wrote a little about Mrs. M in previous post in 2011. Check it out here: http://bobbybenavides.blogspot.com/2011/09/mentors.html