11/3 – Father Knows Best

The Devotional book in use is “The Bard and the Bible”. Today’s selection is from Antony and Cleopatra, Act II, Scene i, line 5 where MENECRATES utters this line,

We, ignorant of ourselves,
Beg often our own harms, which the wise powers
Deny us for our good; so find we profit
By losing of our prayers.

Antony and Cleopatra, Act II, Scene i, line 5

The verse it calls from is 2 Corinthians 12:7-9 which says,

or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

2 Corinthians 12:7-9

There is plenty to unpack here, but as I said in my first post yesterday – my goal here is to apply the lessons and ideas to my work in the classroom and my interactions and work with my students.

What I take away from here is that there will be great days in the classroom, there will be good days, and there will be bad days. It’s important to remember that we’re in this journey for the long term – teaching isn’t a one and done kind of job. Every day is a different day with different discoveries and challenges that the students came to us with and in turn we have to figure out how to manage, work with, and help with all of that – plus to the one thing our job title says we gotta do – teaching. That often we wish/pray for a perfect class or compliant students or whatever utopian dream we believe will solve all the “problems” we have in our classroom. But the reality of teaching is that it is a imperfect hot mess of a beautiful disaster – and that we will make it.

It’s here where I have to do the ‘Jesus Juke” – and connect my Christian faith into my classroom practices when it comes to handling the eight hours of 6th graders. That despite the madness, the stress, the anxiety, the deadlines, the paperwork, and back again – that I can get through the day with, in, and through Christ.

Yes, I know. I’m borderline evangelizing here but I’m less preaching to my classroom and more preaching to the teachers who might read this – and some of you may be believers in Christ as it is. That we have to remember He’s got the wheel in the midst of the storm, and that his grace that was paid for by His sacrifice on the cross is freely given and extended to us. That we cannot do this journey alone. That without Him, we’re not going to do very well on our own.

I love the way the portion from Shakespeare is phrased – “We, ignorant of ourselves, Beg often our own harms.” I’m going to sit in the conversation about us as ignorant creatures who think we know ourselves and what we need – that if we could step back in humbleness to examine ourselves for a moment or two – we might just get a brief glimpse through His lenses.

My fellow educator who is doing this with me sent me a song that he found impactful as he worked through his book today and I agree – it’s a grand thing. It’s from Shane and Shane and it’s titled, “Your Grace is Sufficient”. Sit in the words and give it a listen.

Your grace is sufficient for me
Your strength is made perfect
When I am weak
All that I cling to, I lay at your feet
Your grace is sufficient for me
Your grace is sufficient for me
Your strength is made perfect
When I am weak
All that I cling to, I lay at your feet
Your grace is sufficient for me
Your grace is sufficient for me
Your strength is made perfect
When I am weak
All that I cling to, I lay at your feet
Your grace is sufficient, your grace is sufficient, your grace is sufficient for me
To see the Lord, the promise land
Where in all scent, pearly gate look bland
And what was once a pearl must send
That blows away, that blows away in light of him

Your Grace Is Sufficient lyrics © Integrity’S Hosanna Music
Your Grace Is Sufficient lyrics © Integrity’S Hosanna Music

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