Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The harvest takes time...

I really wanted to find a poem that expressed how important teachers are. Oh, there is the “What do teachers make” speech, but I was looking for something more…

Do you realize you really do make a difference? I’m not talking about the naïve “I’m going to change the world, one child at a time” kind of sentiment we often hold when we first become teachers…I’m talking about the daily grind, getting your hands dirty, hard work difference that you don’t know about for years. A difference that most teachers never even know they have made.

Some of us who have been around for YEARS have had those moments, the ones where a former student comes back and actually says, “You were right,” or “Thank you for believing in me.” Honestly, even for us those moments are rare and as precious as any jewel known to man, but they are truly treasures.

Teachers are really farmers in a way. We have the opportunity to plant into these lives in front of us. Some of our students are big “fields”, some seem to be tiny “plots”; but all are gardens that truly belong to God.

We will weed, and water, and do our best to make sure they have what they need to mature, but rarely do we ever get to see the harvest. Some of the fields are filled with stones that have to be removed, some have briars that grab and stick as we try to remove them for the good of the garden…and the work seems to never end and we wonder if we really make a difference at all.

It can be tempting to give up. Why in the world did I choose to go into education?

Because you were called…God looked at you and deemed you as one He could trust to keep on pulling weeds when the job seemed impossible. You are one He could count on to dig up the stony places and make the soil ready. You are one He knew would come to Him when you needed a cool drink and a “word” to keep going. He knew you are His and would love those He loves, even when it’s hard.

You may not get to see the harvest because in education, our “fields” keep moving on to another who will continue the work you began…that is one reason it is even more important that we encourage each other daily. But if you hang in there long enough, eventually one of those “gardens” will come back to you and say, “Do you remember me?” Sometimes you will…sometimes you won’t be sure when you worked in that garden, but they have not forgotten you.

So hang in there, my teacher friend. Those naïve dreams of making a difference in the world – they weren’t so naïve after all. It’s just that life doesn’t always work on our timetable and sometimes it takes a while for the harvest to come. Keep planting and watering and weeding anyway. You make a difference after all.

1 Corinthians 3:6-9The Message (MSG)
5-9 Who do you think Paul is, anyway? Or Apollos, for that matter? Servants, both of us—servants who waited on you as you gradually learned to entrust your lives to our mutual Master. We each carried out our servant assignment. I planted the seed, Apollos watered the plants, but God made you grow. It’s not the one who plants or the one who waters who is at the center of this process but God, who makes things grow. Planting and watering are menial servant jobs at minimum wages. What makes them worth doing is the God we are serving. You happen to be God’s field in which we are working.