First Grade and Heaven
… “Behold I make all things new.” Revelation 21:5
My days are once again filled with a room full of little lovelies! It’s good to be back to school and its so fun getting to know the kids I get to spend the next 9 months with. The first graders are new to our building so there is a lot to get used to. Each year I forget how much new information there is to absorb for them. Everything is new and it can be pretty overwhelming for them at first. I have watched their little faces this week as they have tried to listen carefully and do their best to remember everything from where the bathroom is to where their pencils and gym shoes go. By Friday afternoon is was easy to see they had absorbed enough for one week. They were tired and their wide eyed amazement and enthusiasm had given way to glassy eyed information overload. As a teacher I have to giggle inside at
all the things they find fascinating and exciting in the beginning; they are
usually things I just take for granted. It’s always good to see all things made new again and soak in the view through their eyes.
As I plunked down at my desk Friday afternoon when they had all gone home, I was remembering some of their “wow” moments from the week. They really do try to soak it all in because they want to get things right and do well. They want to be successful and have fun in school each day. It’s important for me to create an environment in my classroom that makes
them want to come back the next day. I got my first drawing this week and lovingly hung it on the cupboard door reserved for treasures from my little lovelies and I had a thought. Getting to heaven is a little like first grade. The rules really are pretty simple and the goal is even similar. In first grade we learn our biggest job is to Love God and love others. I expect the kids to come through the door each day ready to do their best. I know each of them have different gifts, strengths and weaknesses. I would never measure or treat each child exactly the same because they each need something a little different. Thank goodness God responds to us the
same way. Even after just one week, I can already see their gifts and talents begin to emerge and I marvel at the unique and beautiful differences in them. There are 20 of them, all about the same age, 10 are boys and 10 are girls but no two are exactly alike, yet they each bring something funny, amazing, beautiful or creative to the classroom family. I look around at them and I am in awe as I consider all that they will teach me this year. I can see which ones will teach me patience, which ones will make me laugh, which ones will make me think harder and which ones will keep me on my toes. If God’s greatest task for us is to love one another, my work is easy! God isn’t expecting perfection from me anymore than I expect perfection from my little lovelies. He does expect us to follow Him and rely on Him for all things. My little lovelies will usually have a day or two where they try to do things their own way instead of following the rules of the room and sometimes that doesn’t make for a happy day but it’s my job to lovingly guide them back to
the right path and teach them respect and compassion.
First grade isn’t rocket science…neither is living a life pleasing to God. The key ingredients are the same, loving God and loving others, honoring authority and putting others first. That’s the basic plan of action but as simple as it sounds, we still sometimes loose our way. Thank goodness He never gives up on us or grows weary of our mistakes. First grade might seem easy but it’s the place where the fundamentals take shape. The simple tasks lay the foundation for all the learning that follows. Going back to the fundamentals of our relationship with Christ is a great place to return from time to time because a solid relationship can only be built on a firm foundation. Sometimes we underestimate the value of simple.
A Seed To Plant: Think this week about that very basic command…love God, love others. Intentionally do something this week that shows God your love for Him and do something that shows your love for someone in your life.
Blessings on your day!
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