Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Headaches, Tummyaches, and Heartaches

"Love should be your top priority, primary objective, and greatest ambition." Rick Warren

"No matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love." 1 Corintians 13:3

Today was the first day of school with the students. I used to get tummy aches from the worry. They would wake me in the middle of the night of the eve of the first day. Tossing and turning, I'd usually get between two and four hours of sleep every night before that first day. I would come to school with headaches from the lack of sleep and uncomfortable rest. This year, I slept like a baby. Actually, it was the first night all summer that I actually slept through the entire night without waking up before the alarm or the midnight check on Lauren. I was rested, refreshed, and ready to go. I was actually smiling!
However, throughout the day, I got another ache. As the students would standup to tell me their name and four things from their "Getting to Know you" sheets, I would feel a twinge, a tightening in my chest--a heartache.
Their hands searched for the right position. Their cheeks flushed with the fear of rejection. Some cracked jokes to feel accepted. Others spoke barely loud enough to understand. It was like they wanted to be invisible or sink down into the floor, the desk, anywhere they could hide. Or the opposite, they wanted to be so loud, so obnoxious, so hilarious, that no one could ever know their true fears, hopes, and questions. Don't they know You made them for a reason? Don't they know You died on the cross so they could live life in Your love, Your confidence, Your peace, Your joy? Don't they know who they are? Lord, help me show Jesus to my students. It used to be about helping them find their "voice." But now it's all about You. Afterall, you created their "voice." They won't find it anywhere else, no matter how hard they try. Give me the words, the actions, the steps. Guide me. You take it from here, Lord. I'm just along for the ride. Thanks for a new definition of those three little words I used to dread-- "Back to school."

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