The amazing, unglamorous race

Some of “my” kids. Love them (most days). 🙂

I haven’t always joyfully pounced on the purpose God laid out for me. One example: teaching. Even though all signs pointed to “teacher” from an early age—oh, the times I made my siblings play school with me—there was initial resistance as shinier options offered more status, money, or comfort. Oh, and I cannot forget the dozens who warned me against majoring in education (many of them, sadly, educators themselves).

But somehow in my spirit, I knew God made me to teach. The job was (still is) challenging, to be sure, and most days it’s definitely not shiny. It’s in that classroom, though, where every bit of me realizes why I’m still breathing. I understand why God placed within me a love for language, a soft spot for the underdog, and an optimism that borders on annoying. God created me to spend my days, knowledge, and gifts—especially the annoying optimism, ha—with a bunch of typical teenagers.

A couple of times I left the classroom. Burnout ensued (it’s a real thing, y’all), opportunities arose, and rest called. And during those years of hiatus, some pretty cool things happened, circumstances that God directed. I was grateful.

In the end, however, those other pursuits just weren’t me. I’m not built to supervise, travel, or network. I’m not an extrovert, a competitor or a visionary. Someone else is, and that’s where they need to be. But that’s not the race God’s asked me to run.

He has, though, set up a lane for me in an amazing but low-key race. I mean, really, who notices a tired teacher rushing down the hallway with a stack of essays? Maybe nobody except Him, the One I want to please. The One who gave a wide-eyed girl big dreams of a little classroom. The One who’ll help her next autumn, God willing, take one more lap around the track.

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“Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of faith . . . .”   Hebrews 12:1-2

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