Thursday, December 15, 2011

In praise of teachers

"the student is not above the teacher"
Matthew 10:24

I had lunch with some friends today.  I've known them for years ~ we served in ministry together about ten years ago.  Some of them I still see on a regular basis, but others I only see rarely, and even then only because we've bumped into each other at the mall or something. 

It was fun to catch up with all of them, but one of them in particular I got to have an especially long conversation with.  I drove her home, rather than her husband having to come pick her up at the restaurant.  That drive home was such a blessing to me.  She used to be a teacher of mine, and though she no longer holds that position in an official capacity, I think she will always be that.  It's hard ~ don't you think? ~ to ever feel on equal footing with someone who taught you.  It's rare for a student to surpass a teacher, and even if the ability to excel actually exists, the student is liable to always feel subordinate.  

My friend and I started chatting about our kids, and how life has changed since we last saw each other, but before I knew it, I was sharing some of my struggles and predicaments.  Don't get me wrong ~ my life is awesome and wonderful.  But I wonder what God has for me in the near and distant future.  I wonder how I can be a better wife and a better mother, and how He wants me to use the gifts and skills God has given me, for Him. 

She listened and made some observations, and told me she'd be praying for me ~ and I know she will.  And when I left her, I felt wiser, supported, prayed for, and lifted up.  I felt edified.  I love that word.  It's a magical word that says what no other word says: morally and spiritually built up.  That's the best thing we can do for one another, and that's what she did for me.

I'm grateful today for teachers, guides and mentors.  I'm thankful that He places people in our lives for just that purpose.  And today I'm thinking that the best kind of teacher is one who has known me long and well.  I am privileged to teach in certain areas of my life, but even more privileged to be taught.

~ "learn in quietness and full submission" ~
1 Timothy 2:11

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