It seems impossible to believe that one of my daughters is a teacher and now has a full schedule of classes of teenage faces looking to her for guidance. Guidance in education. Guidance in their peer groups. Guidance in life. She is a “teacher-woman”. She has also become her worst fear – she has become her mother.
As I look at some of the pictures of her that hang on our livingroom wall, my mind drifts back. It seems like last week that her little face was looking back at me from our kitchen island where she learned to read. Or an older version of that same face gazing at me from a desk in the middle of a junior high row, surrounded by her own set of peers. How is it even possible that she has become a leader in her own right? She is my baby girl. My Littlest. And yet – there she is. A newer version of that same face – sadly for me – several states away. She is totally out of the nest and seeking wisdom as her own version of a “teacher-woman”.
I am humbled.
Impossible things happen every day. It’s life. We “see” it happening, but somehow – the miracle of the “happening” doesn’t register until the sun comes up some years later. The moon cast its pale light so many times that we lost track. The seasons rolled around and “suddenly” we open our eyes one morning and realize that time has escaped our notice, and we are left wondering just how that happened. Wasn’t I just teaching at OSU’s Campbell Hall nursery school?
This morning, I went down to the local gym, and stretched my knees. Watched the river flow for a few minutes and heard the birds chatter back and forth. Fussed in the garden and got buzzed by a couple of hummingbirds bickering over the feeder. Browsed through the paper and broke my night’s fast. Turned on the computer and read a few statuses and articles. Read two chapters of an old paperbook friend and thought about the start of school for me on Thursday. Then the impossible struck again – how can it be, that after 64 years, I still “see” the world through the school calendar lens?
The impossible becomes possible. God reaches out. “Teacher-people” appear. we hear His whisper and not His roar. (1 Kg 19:12b)
Just like all the nations around the world that are hurting right now, history teaches us that Israel had her shares of trouble. Once upon a particular time, they had a king named Ahab. He was not a righteous king who worshipped God in his heart. He was not content to just ignore God by not traveling and worshiping in Jerusalem. He decided to push the envelop. He married Jezebel and began to worship another God entirely.
That old adage comes to mind, “As the leader goes – so goes the country.”
So God did what He does best. He reached out and sent a “teacher-man”. Just one man in the line of many that God sent to His people. His name was Elijah. Elijah was a “teacher-man”. He did a little more than teach, but teach he did. A “teacher-man” that saw no limits on what God could do. A “teacher-man” that had faith that the “impossible” was “possible” with God in his life. Course Elijah wasn’t perfect, he did get a little scared of Jezebel for a while. Eventually though, he managed to turn on his spiritual ears, amped up his faith and got busy doing God’s work.
We don’t know how Elijah became a “teacher-man”. We don’t know what qualified him to hold that position – but there he was. Was he a scholar? A rabbi?Whatever he was, he was the right man — for the right job — at just the right time — a “right”eous man. That is the way God works. Creating the possible through the impossible. As the “teacher-man”, he asked a simple question, “How long will you waver between two opinions?” ( 1 Kg 18:21).
“There is no servant who can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will honor the one and he will neglect the other…” Lk 16:13
The school calendar on this earthly plane has started. Parents are buying supplies. Kids are getting excited about who will be in their class. “Teacher-people” are planning. But if we open our eyes, we may see that school has started for all of us – for all of God’s children – for the whole world. God is doing what he does best. He is loving His children. “Teacher-people” are speaking to those who have ears to listen. They are speaking to the “impossibles” in our lives. They are speaking to those situations where we are torn between our “masters” – between our “choices” – between the just and the un-just. Individually. Physically. Nationally. Spiritually. Worldly.
As a “teacher-woman” , I guess I am stuck seeing the world through a school calendar lens. Praying and having faith that my spiritual eyes are open. Praying and having faith that my spiritual ears are listening. Praying and having faith that “impossible” is “possible” to those who believe in God.
“Teacher-people” that still teach us to pray and have faith.