Be Careful What You Don’t Wish For

There are some weeks (or days, or months, or years!) that are so memorable that I think I should have a scrapbook, memoir, or maybe even a movie of my life so I don’t forget them. Sometimes they are memorable for good reasons, other times … not so much. Often, they are just crazy and things happen that I never would have predicted.

Last week was memorable for me because I was reminded of a very important lesson: “Be careful what you don’t wish for.” On Monday, I was commiserating with a friend about how things just hadn’t been going like we wanted them to. I mentioned that two different people had reminded me these were “opportunities for growth.” Now obviously, I know that, but who wants to be TOLD that. Jokingly (or maybe not so jokingly) I told my friend that I really was content with who I was and if it meant life would be a bed of roses, I was OK with no more opportunities for growth!

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Yeah, well, be careful what you DON’T wish for. Just three short days later, I was thrown into a situation which provided me with a host of opportunities for growth. I did things I am not comfortable doing, including sitting on a small stool for several hours in a hospital ER with absolutely nothing to do but listen.

How does this apply to you as teacher and/or parent? We often go into the school year hoping and praying that our students (or children) will have a perfect school year, that they won’t struggle with math or grammar, that they will do their work without complaint, that they will be well liked, and that they will be like little sponges hanging on our every word. In a way, we are hoping life will not hand us “opportunities for growth.”

Maybe this year … it’s time to hope for more. Maybe it’s time to hope that our character will be stretched and challenged and gifted with the things we don’t usually wish for because in the end, those are often the things that make us better people.

“There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!”  Romans 5:3-5 (The Message)

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