Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Too-Faithful Teachers

Deanna gave me a lesson in driving a stick shift today, and we had zero stalls! Sammy tried to teach me a few years ago, but we spent the first 45 minutes sitting in the car as he explained the technical machinations of the gears in minutia. By the time I started trying to drive, my mind was trying to move my hands and feet based on a complete and complex understanding of what was going on in the inner workings of the car. This process does not lend itself easily to making quick decisions (such as you have to do while driving). Today was so much better. Manual seems easy enough...I probably just need a few more tries at it to get my feet and hands used to their new movements. It will be like playing a new piece on the piano...once the fingers have memorized it, you can begin the fine-tuning.

If I had my preference, I'd love for my mother to fine-tune my new skills. Family lore says her brother taught her how to conserve gas on the San Francisco hills, and when my father met her he was most impressed by the amazingly aggressive way she attacked the California roads in her little Beetle. Mom still drives aggressively (it has stood her in good stead in Chicago), but we've never owned a manual there so I've never seen this famed skill. In fact, I think it might be one of the most therapeutic things she could do...drive a manual on hilly country roads. Perhaps I'll be able to arrange it. (Another thing to add to the "Mom Must" vacation list. That and the National Tropical Botanic Gardens on Kauai.)

Speaking of teachers who are a little too faithful and thorough (I love you, Sam!)...

I was reminded yesterday as I pulled sticky notes out of The Last Battle that I wanted to brag about the Lord in relation to a little incident from about two weeks ago. I had wanted to give my summer school students a very straightforward presentation of the Gospel before school ended, for who knows if/when they might ever hear it. In one of the classes I had a teachers' aide, David. Although I'd felt free the whole term to speak about God openly in his hearing, for some reason this particular prospect loomed in my heart as a very large hurdle. Whether it was right or wrong (I was sure it was wrong and just fear-of-man), I couldn't shake the inhibition I felt as I prayed and prepared. David was an extremely faithful aide. In the whole term he had never once been late, or absent, or left the room during class. On the particular day I'd chosen to talk to the children David came up to me in the beginning of class, as usual, to review my lesson plan for the period and what his involvement was to be. Since school was winding down and I'd carefully planned to read several things to the kids as literary segues into our talk about Jesus, I didn't have tons for him to do except perhaps some grading. To my surprise, instead of heading back to his table to begin work, he suggested that he knew of another teacher who happened to really need help that period with some end-of-term things, and he wondered if I would mind if he went to her classroom. I happily released him. Not once in the entire term had that happened! With great confidence I was able to use the rest of the period to gently point the children toward Jesus.

In thinking about it afterward I realized how perfectly God had worked it out. I still feel I shouldn't have let a teenager's presence inhibit me, but being the gracious God He is, He not only pulled strings to take away that inhibition, but also confirmed to me that I had chosen the right day to speak to them and that He was going to work.

How fun is that?!


Anna Peterson said...

That is so fun! It's crazy how Jesus meets us even in our weaker places (if it was fear of man... :) and has mercy on us. =) Love you!

Anonymous said...

overcoming fear of man and testifying publically in the power of jesus...I know someone who lived in 203 AD who did that too.