It seems some of my posts of late have been on my experiences as a trainee teacher, in what I would term, a school on the road to the narrow path, if there’s one of such for schools! Hopefully, you get the metaphor or simile or pun . . . I know not which 🙂
Image credit: Drew’s Ramblings
So one of the things that has stood out for me in my just-over-8 months of teacher training is the speed with which a teacher has to forgive a (regularly) erring student. Truly forgive or at least, not keep malice or discard them as we may be prone to doing with fellow adults. Now, I’m almost certain that anyone in a similar position to mine will agree that he/she would not ‘take’ some of the things teachers encounter in their day-to-day dealings with students and still have them on their radar willingly. A handful of students (I’ve used a handful because ‘some‘ would unnecessarily place emphasis on the black dots in a wide white space) do really push and test the patience of teachers.
I recently read an article (I remember not the source) that said to thank GOD for the tough people in our lives. Whether we like it or not, these students are in our lives one way or the other. And usually tough situations reveal what’s inside a person already. You can’t squeeze oranges and get mango juice! C’est impossible! In the same vein, when I get squeezed by these students and I see myself bringing out juices I would not like to drink, I’d better go to GOD in prayer to right my wrong content!
Focusing on the subject of forgiveness though, it’s best to really forgive those that squeeze us for many reasons. One of which is that it squeezes all the wrong juice out and as far as we’re not meditating on the wrong done to us thus fertilising the tree that holds the fruit that produces juice (I hope I did not lose you there; re-read it, we’ll wait for you, :)..), eventually all the wrong juices will be squeezed out. This is because it will, it has to dawn on us one way or another that the juices we are serving these kids and ourselves are not making the situation any better, not releasing the grip of the squeezer. The whole definition of insanity = doing the same thing and expecting different results.
Image credit: Know Your Meme
Another reason is that it has made me turn to GOD and HE has helped me be more of a responder than an reactor (or react-er). See, those two are quite different. A reaction usually does not require any mindful thinking process. A response makes you look at the situation as a grown-up, matured adult (that you are at least supposed to be) and deal with the situation more holistically, in a manner that benefits both you and the squeezer.
A third reason is that it allows me draw a parallel to other areas of my life where I struggle with forgiving others I expect better behaviour from. In other words, if I can forgive someone whose level of importance to me isn’t that great, how much more should I be willing to forgive those whose relevance in my life is more encompassing?
It has also taught and is teaching me patience and resilience. Let’s just say I was prone to throwing in the towel, giving up quickly, on situations that did not fit my expectations. And as I’ve spent more time in this GOD-ordained training ground, my patience and resilience have improved, with much more room for further improvement. And this increased patience and resilience has translated into more joy and more happiness in my life. I do no longer spend as much time as I used to ‘meditating’ on the wrong and allowing it drown me so bad, I needed a rescue army to pull me out and set me on my feet again. My emotional recovery time from things not going so well is slowly but definitely narrowing.
Image credit: St. Mark’s Inala
Finally, it has taught me to be a doer of the WORD, rejoicing before the joy sets in.
In summary, let the thorns in your flesh remain that HIS strength may be perfected in your weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9), that others may see JESUS in you, that the trying of your faith causes you may grow more into HIS image (James 1:2-4).
To your growth in HIS image . . .