I look forward to Thursdays when I can publish thoughts on my spiritual journey and hear the thoughts of others on a weekly theme topic. It has become a space for an encouraging and fortifying community to come together. We welcome anyone who would like to join us!
This week's theme is PATIENCE.
Several days ago I was feeling it - the heart palpitations, the headache, the anxiety, and the short temper. My patience was quickly dissipating. I was going to snap at a student any moment. THE student - you know the one. The one that tests your patience.
After I took a deep breath and briefly closed my eyes, I regained my composure. I tried to practice patience. I knew it wasn't entirely her fault. I was trying to fit too much into the class period. I only have an hour with my fifth graders, and that's never enough. I teach gifted students. You might think that means I can go faster. In some material, that's true. But most of the time, at least in the subject I teach (language arts), it doesn't. It DOES mean I can go deeper, but to allow that to happen to the extent that it should, I need to slow down. But there's SO much to teach!
The topic, PATIENCE, came to me that day. I knew I had chosen this topic before - about a year ago, in fact. Right at the beginning of the school year. I'm sure that's not a coincidence, even though that post was more about practicing patience with life events that were happening. I also wrote about stress and slowing down not too long ago - both related to teaching. I've written about waiting. These topics are chosen partly because I need a lot of self-talk and prayer about this - to SLOW DOWN. I know what my students need. They need time to talk, to process, to daydream, to read, to write, to connect, to think. They can't do those things when I'm rushing them along, trying to get to all the content. I know my students and I are both happier when I give them the time they need. The content will come. I will get to it. It's only September. They're only 10. Right now it's so much more important to treat each child with respect, love, and PATIENCE.
It occurs to me that we have a perfect role model when it comes to patience. God is so patient with us. We mess up again and again. We have things the Holy Spirit is nudging us to improve, forgive, get rid of, or do. We're slow. We're distracted. We're stubborn. We're proud. We don't respond quick enough, I'm sure. But He's waiting. He's patient. He allows us to choose. He reminds us. He nudges us. He directs us. He allows us time to figure it out. I know there's limited time, and we can't take forever, but we have the perfect example of patience; there He is.
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.