The little tests of life God gives us. I walked straight into one of these yesterday and found myself wanting to respond to it in my willfulness. Instead, I sensed the Holy Spirit telling me to slow down. I wasn’t sure what that meant, but I wasn’t to give my “Earnie response” at that moment.
The test came from my day with the school yesterday. I had told the principal I wanted to observe the core teachers (ones teaching English, Math, Science & Social Studies) both in the junior high and in the high school. I had the class schedule so I had prepared a schedule for us which had us in each classroom from 30-45 mins per teacher. By the time the day ended we were mentally drained. After each observation we had taken time to talk through what we’d seen and what effectiveness from student learning was visible. As soon as we got back to the office from the last one the principal needed to conduct a fire drill. When we sat down together following that he said, “You know, we have 3 years for this project. We can slow down a little.” My instant response wanted to be, “Are you kidding? Yes, we have 3 years, but in them we are to bring student learning in a years time to reflect strong achievement instead of little or no achievement. Then we are to build a pattern for which this will maintain itself so others can follow it with our without us.” I knew this response was me, so all I said at the time was, “Well that’s true.” I knew I needed to address it but not with those words.
This morning in talking with God about it He reminded me how most of us live life. Our sense of urgency is more about secular things: getting to work on time, taking our lunch on time, making appointments on time, etc. God’s sense of urgency is His Kingdom Work. However, when we join Him in it, there is no sense of urgency unless His Spirit has inspired that sense. The Holy Spirit’s sense of urgency is all about the individual’s readiness to receive Him. God seemed to be saying to help them see the value of the change. It is in value we find urgency. If something is valuable and we don’t have it but could have it, we build a plan to get it. So help them see the value in helping kids learn well and all that is to be taught. Experience the joy of seeing kids learn and then use their learning. This is the joy of teaching. This is intrinsic and that is exactly where God works–inside us.
With all of that I’m reframing my approach for next week. Learning selflessness and leaning solely on God’s leadership is going to take me a while–likely the rest of my life. However, I want to know God’s urgency and live it out rather than my urgency and try to force it out.