Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Unlikely Teacher

I never wanted to be a teacher. My mom and my sister were both Sunday School teachers. My sister babysat. My sister taught the preschool worship. My mom directed VBS. Like any normal younger sister, I did not want to be a teacher.

But we were a family of teachers so everyone expected that I would be a teacher too. Puleease! I admit, I had a terrible attitude. I got fighting mad every time anyone mentioned that I should be a teacher.

So, one February afternoon of my eighteenth year, my preacher called and asked for me. The Arizona State Christian Convention was being held that week in our city; would I lead the children’s session that evening? Any person would gulp at the last minute notice, but as an eighteen year old, I wasn’t experienced in knowing how to say no to the preacher. I said yes, I said goodbye, then I blew up. “He must be really scraping the bottom of the barrel if he’s asking me to teach. I can’t teach. I don’t want to teach. I know nothing about teaching and he calls me last minute to teach? I cannot teach!”

My mother let me rant, then she said, “Stop and think about what you can do. You know music. You’ve helped me lead singing in children’s worship so you can teach them songs. You’ve done puppet scripts and storytelling for me too. You are excellent at just making up stories off the top of your head. And you love games. You can fill in the rest of the time with a game.” She named a game we could borrow from a friend.

Acting like I hadn’t heard her, I stalked to my bedroom. Then God’s Spirit got on my mom’s side. The bible story of Moses came into my mind. Moses had a case of the don’t wannas too. He told God he couldn’t speak. He couldn’t lead the people. He couldn’t face Pharaoh. God’s reply in the form of a verse I had memorized came into my mind next. “Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go! I will help you speak and will teach you what to say (Exodus 4:11,12).” I was convicted. If I was going to teach, God would have to teach me what to say.

I came out of my bedroom and headed for the phone. “What are you going to do?” my mother asked. “I’m calling Melanie to ask if I can borrow that game,” I replied. Later I told Melanie the story of my fit and God’s conviction. She laughed and said, “Go Moses!” So like Moses, I went.

It wasn’t so bad. I survived and so did they. Six months later, the Sunday School superintendent asked me to teach the first and second grade Sunday School class and this time I said yes without the fit. I still was nervous. I made lots of mistakes. But I’m still teaching, over twenty five years later. I’m also writing curriculum for Standard Publishing and Rainbow Publishers. I’ve even taught teacher training classes. I’m writing this blog. God in his heaven must be smiling because once again, He has shown how He can change a life through His mighty power and use someone who once said they can’t.

What job is God asking you to do? Are you nervous? Are you scared? Are you digging in your feet? Are you even stubbornly saying “No!”? When we tell God we can’t do something because of the way we’re wired, we’re basically telling the Creator who made us and knows us better than we know ourselves that He’s got it wrong. He made you. He knows what you are capable of accomplishing. He also knows what His unsurpassable power can do through you.

Say yes! Without the fit. Then go and watch God do incredible things through you.

1 comment:

Teresa Dickhoner said...

Thanks for sharing. I needed that, because I've been digging in my feet about a ministry. Praying for someone else to take it, etc.