Sometimes it’s not until I sit down to write a blog post that I really stop to think about what’s been happening. Sometimes it’s not until I am really looking for something meaningful that I find it.
This time last week, no details at all had come together on my class, the Access Program, that I’ll be teaching this year. But in just a few days we had a faculty meeting, gave promotional spiels to the 7th grade classes, gave them a day to submit their application, had their homeroom and English teachers choose students, and sent them home to get their parent’s signature so we can start . !
As this has been happening so fast now, I’ve worried a few times that I’m not going to be ready on time. I’ve planned the lesson and I have plenty to teach, but there’s still the feeling that something could go wrong, I could have forgotten a huge detail, or any number of things. In addition, I’m filling in as a substitute teacher for two English classes tomorrow, and 4 on Tuesday. It seems to be a well-kept secret that I’ve never actually taught an entire class on my own before (other than the 20 minutes of morning reading every day). And on top of that, I’ve ended up being the point person for a group of 25 volunteers coming on Wednesday. I’m not overwhelmed, but that only because I’ve intentionally told myself to just take it one step at a time. He always comes through for me and provides when I do what I’m called to do.
But sometimes, just telling yourself Truth doesn’t make your heart believe it. God knows that too, so he gave me a few examples.
As soon as school let out on Friday, I went to play the piano in the special English library room that has two pianos against the wall. Before long, a few Tibetan faces peeped in and seeing it was me, they happily gathered around and watched. They asked if I could play Beethoven, and I assumed that meant Fur Elise, so I played a bit. They all danced from joy, and then begged me to teach them. So that was the rest of Friday!Saturday came, and after some morning work in the office I went out to buy lunch – a bag of freshly cooked 包子 (little bun stuffed with meat and vegetables) for US $0.50. I couldn’t wait to eat them, and my stomach felt the same way. As I set my lunch on my desk and went to refill my water bottle, a small crowd of Tibetans ran up and said they’d been looking for me, and did I have some free time? Of course; how can you say no to those faces? Leaving my lunch on the desk before they saw it, we went to the pianos again for hours. By the time I got back up to my desk it was 4:00pm, and I realized in amazement that I hadn’t been hungry for a moment (which I guarantee you is very unlike me). While I was in the midst of God’s purpose for me in that moment, He took care of the things I’d “given up.”
Similarly, I’ve been pretty sniffly all weekend, and haven’t gone far without a water bottle for my sore throat and some tissues for my nose. But this afternoon around 3:00pm a group of 7th grade girls came into the office, found me alone, and began to chatter away with me. They’re so precious. Soon, they asked if we could go play outside together. I could have most definitely said I had preparation to do, and I could have said I wasn’t feeling too good, but… what am I really here for? To love people. And it was clear that love in this situation meant, “Sure!”
When the bell rang for dinner and we all waved goodbye, I realized that I had been talking, playing, swinging on monkey bars, running around, doing handstands, and making new friends for hours without once needing to blow my nose or once needing to go get water. As soon as I left and went into the canteen for dinner, the nose and throat returned. But while I’d been in the midst of God’s calling for me at that moment, He provided for the little details.
Those moments give me confidence in a God who understands the preparations, details, materials, feelings, and unknowns about the next three days. He has called me to love people as I teach well. I cannot do either of those without Him, and never have. I know that the One who gives me the desire to love will give me the ability to do it. The One who gives me the place to teach will give me the means to do it. It’s all about Him, just as it should be. Honestly, what I'm trying to say was said much better by Jesus Himself [emphasis mine]:
"Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself."