Monday, November 03, 2008

The power of "Oh"

In Sunday School class yesterday, we began looking at Colossians 3. One of the kids happens to be in the process of writing out this chapter 500 times (I'm so glad my parents never considered this punishment!). So I figured this was a pretty good time for us to look at it and figure out what it means. Hopefully, by doing this at #9, the words will mean even more to him by #472.

So we were talking about the old man, and him dying. And next week we're going to start on the new guy... but in talking about the old man I mentioned my old analogy of it being a real person, only this time I was clumsily trying to figure out how to make this analogy work for kids ranging from ages 7 - 16.
So our 'best friend' died. Our best friend liked certain types of movies, our best friend liked to smoke, our best friend liked to read dirty books. Then our best friend died. But we still went to the store and bought his favorite books, and we read them. Then we stopped at the theatre, saw a movie he would have enjoyed, and we went in and watched it.
I have to tell you, the effort was clumsy.
But I finished this clumsy analogy, and I had 4 kids staring at me (the 5th was so young I'm pretty sure it didn't sink in), and then one of the older ones said 'Ohhh."

And it was just as clear as a bell that at least that one had really gotten it. The others looked like they'd gotten it as well. But that one, softly spoken 'ohhh' really hit me.

Sometimes it's just the greatest blessing to know that your clumsiest efforts can be used by God. Sure it'd be nice to be one of those teachers that can explain things in the absolutely best ways so kids understand, and not only understand but get excited about them. But I'm not one of those. Teaching, most definitely, is not one of my giftings!

One of the things that my mom used to say was that God doesn't always call the qualified, but He qualifies the called. The quality, in these lessons is certainly not with the teacher. But God is able to do something with these things. When my best isn't good enough, or when I just downright fail to communicate my point, God can still use my words, and my efforts.
It'd be great to be a good teacher, but it's not about that.
It's about the God, who was able to feed 5,000 with just a few fishes, being able to feed 5, with 45 minutes of my less than talented teaching.

It's also not about me not being good enough. But about God being more than enough.

As I've stumbled through the last months, I've come to realize that God could easily be working on my pride right now. It's easy for me to focus on how religious I know how to be. But Gods working in me something that I can't fake my way through. Any dope can learn to play the piano and play for church.
But when you open your mouth to teach kids... that's when people, the most impressionable people in the world, are going to see what you're really made of.

Also, that "ohh" helps me know that I'm not doing this for nothing. It tells me that something is coming from the lessons, from all the words, from all the conversation. And that makes it 10 times easier to pick myself up and go it again next week.

If one little "ohh" does that much for me, I figure it can do something for someone else as well. So for all the 'ohhs' I've had the blessing of experiencing, I'm going to be working harder to remember that sometimes my preacher can't hear me go "ohh". The co-worker down the hall that has been such a great teacher for me, he's never heard my 'ohh' of understanding. All the people in my life that randomly do stuff that teaches me something more about God, and about life, and walking this walk... every once in a while, I want to make sure they hear me let them know.

Commenters, you spark something in me every time you comment. It's such a joy, a real joy to know someone read this and actually understood what I meant! I get just the right amount of comments. Because too many would give me pride issues, I'm 100% certain. But every once in a while a comment just pops up that encourages me.

And while I'm thanking people... I just want the inventor of the Lemon Berry slush from Sonic, and the creators of Wylers GRAPE kool-aid to know, that they really make rough days better, and I appreciate their contributions to my world.

That is all. :)


Anonymous said...

It's also not about me not being good enough. But about God being more than enough.

that one speaks to me today :-)

flyawaynet said...

I'm glad Nancy, thanks for your comment.

Sometimes I need the reminder myself.
Ok... OFTEN I need that reminder myself. :)