…he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion…Philippians 1:6
Every so often, something so amazing happens in our classroom that I feel like I should sign my paycheck over to the kids! Last week I had one of those days! It started as a simple job, but it turned into something so inspiring! Ash Wednesday, all my female middle lovelies were singing like angels in the school choir and all the boys were asked by our friend Beth to help unpack and display all the Lenten Prayer Books available for parishioners. When the boys returned to the classroom, a few of them had a copy of Matthew Kelly’s book, Rediscovering Jesus. They were so excited to have a copy. I was pleased that they were interested in the book but didn’t give it a whole lot more thought. At the end of the day, I heard the boys who had grabbed the book having a discussion. Since the book had 40 short chapters, they decided to read one each day of Lent and discuss the questions at the end of each chapter at morning recess. I was stunned! The next morning, right before recess, they cracked open the book and began discussing the questions. At the sight of that, the rest of the boys decided to join them. There was a quick run to church to grab more copies of the book and discuss the plans for their “Boys book study.”
The girls in the room were watching and listening just like I was and one of them ask if they could do a book study too. With all the sweetness and sincerity they could muster, one of them told me that it was the boys idea and they didn’t want to “steal” their book. I promised to go on Amazon that night and pick something for them to start next week. I am ditching part of my lesson plans for the next few weeks so they can put their full effort into a Lenten book designed to help them grow in holiness. When they left the room that day, I flopped down in my chair and I just started to cry. I don’t know if I’ve ever been prouder of a group of students! I am so inspired by them. What they did was absolutely unprompted by an adult, it wasn’t suggested, offered, assigned or instigated by a big person…it was just some 12 year olds who wanted to make Lent a time to grow closer to Christ.
These kids are amazing, they come from fabulous homes and they are surrounded by a community that prays for and supports them and boy does it show! I’m old; I have degrees and I’ve been to seminars and trainings and workshops but I am so often outdone by the faith and spirit of the kids I get to spend my days with! I don’t know if they will process the books the same way an adult will; I don’t know how in-depth their discussions will be; I don’t know if they will find the text difficult and frustrating at times but I believe the words of St. Paul to the Philippians and I know he will complete the good work he started with these amazing kids who fill the seats in room 6-1. I think it’s fair to say…the teacher just got schooled…and for that I am grateful!
A Seed To Plant: Be like these amazing kids…pick up a book and grow in holiness as you take 40 days to work your way through it. There will be grace!
Blessings on your day!
…you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. Luke 2:12
Social media can be crazy but it can also be awesome! I have some amazing stuff pop up on my twitter page and my Facebook newsfeed. Sometimes it’s stories that bring hope, sometimes it’s a quick scripture or quote that jolts my thinking or my heart and sometimes it’s just plain funny, laugh out loud kinda stuff. It’s funny how just when I need a laugh or a lift the most, something pops up at just the perfect time. Friday afternoon I was running out of gas; my emotions, my energy, my joyfulness…all of it was running on fumes. Right before I left school I sat down at my desk to check messages and send a couple of quick emails and I found a little clip that made me laugh so hard in the quiet building I think I frightened the janitor.
The link to this little clip will be at the bottom of this post so you can giggle too. If you have a minute (literally) you might want to scroll down and watch it before you continue reading. The video features two tiny girls playing the roles of Mary and a sheep in a Christmas Pageant and a hilarious fight over the Baby Jesus. As the two tumble and tussle fighting for the doll it made me think of our daily struggles to put a little more Jesus in our life.
The first thing I thought when I watched the clip was; what would my life look like if I worked as hard to capture Jesus as the little sheep did? She knew she wanted Jesus and she planned, pounced and protected. The look of sheer delight on her face as she danced with Jesus in her arms was endearing. It made me wonder how much more content and joyful I’d be if I imagined dancing in the arms of Jesus like the little sheep. She defended Baby Jesus and she wasn’t afraid to laugh and run around like he was her prized possession. I sure think my imitation of that little sheep would change things!
The little girl who played Mary had a lesson for me too. Her first reaction was shock but it didn’t take her long to spring into action. It’s funny how she hesitated for a quick second as if formulating a plan that was as peaceful as possible. She very easily could have taken the sheep out at the knees, instead, she was trying to be dignified but driven. More often than I’d like to admit I charge off full speed either in my actions or my judgmental thoughts and don’t take a quiet second to think things through. She became the Baby Jesus’ protector, trying to return him to his rightful spot. She didn’t give up; she didn’t wait for Joseph or one of the shepherds to step in and handle the problem, she just went after Jesus trying to make sure he had the honor and respect he was due. There are a couple lessons in discipleship there that I should ponder.
The wonder of Christmas never gets old. Something about children, including Baby Jesus, and their innocence and cuteness just makes my heart happy. They are not filled with malice and they aren’t trying to deceive or impress…they just are. When I see the number of likes, shares and views on this little clip I’m filled with hope because I know others are stopping to watch, laugh and maybe ponder the birth of Jesus and that’s something truly worth pondering.
A Seed To Plant: Watch the video and spend some time pondering what we’re really preparing for these last few days of Advent.
Blessings on your day!
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