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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

I Didn't Choose To Teach

I didn't choose to teach.

I didn't choose to be exhausted the entire month of August just to get a classroom ready and a group of 25 firsties ready for the school year.  I didn't choose to be called, "Mrs. Shaddock," for 178 school days every year.  I didn't choose to prepare first graders to meet national standards set for them by people who think they are smarter than I am.  I didn't choose to love 25 babies as if they were my own.

I was chosen.  Before time began, I was chosen to teach.

By God.
"All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be..." Psalm 139:16

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord..." Jeremiah 29:11

"Here are some of the parts God has appointed for the church: first are apostles, second are prophets, third are teachers..." 1 Corinthians 12:28

Though I love teaching dearly, I firmly believe that I love it because I am doing what God chose me to do.  

I have a gift.  I didn't go pick out my gift at Wal-Mart.  It was chosen for me.

I can teach.  And I can do it effectively.  No, I am not the best teacher in the world.  I'm not even the best teacher in my school or district.  And there are days that I'm not a very good teacher at all.  Many days, actually.  And there are countless teachers in the world who are much better at their gift than I am.

But I have a God-given gift to teach, too.  And I am determined to do my best at it.  Whether it is teaching 1st graders at school, teaching preschoolers at church, or teaching my own kid at home.

Being chosen by God to teach means several things.

It means that I need to use my gift, not just let it sit on a shelf and go to waste.
"Each of you should use whatever gift you have to serve others." 1 Peter 4:10

It means that I'm called to a higher standard.
"Not many of you should become teachers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly." James 3:1

"In your teaching show integrity, seriousness, and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about you." 
Titus 2:7-8

It means that I am an example to others.
"But be an example of the believers in word, in conversation, in love, in spirit, in faith, and in purity." 1 Timothy 4:12

And it means that I'm chosen to help others see the possibilities.
"With man this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible." 
Matthew 19:26

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13

...which reminds me of one of my all-time favorite poems by one of my all time favorite poets, Shel Silverstein...

I may not have chosen to teach, but I did choose to accept God's gift for me.  So, again this year, I choose to use my gift to glorify God, because it's what He chose for me to do.