Tomorrow is the start of a new school year. I am filled with anxiety of not knowing what is to come, and yet anxious because I do not know what I am anxious about. So here, I write.
In all honesty, insecurities have set in. I am going into my 5th year of occasional teaching, not yet securing a permanent teaching job. It is humbling to set foot in yet another classroom for a set period of time, currently unaware of what is going to happen past February 2018. There is an underlying tone of competition that occurs between conversations with other teachers; a secret envy of those who have gotten contracts and a sigh of relief when someone else is in the same boat as me. Should I do more – more extracurriculars, more to get noticed, more additional qualifications, more for the students, more for the teachers, more for the administration?
Jaded – is what some teachers call it, and yet I am reminded of the faithfulness of God in even providing me with constant work for the past couple of years. God has placed me in different schools every year, using me to plant seeds, to be the light, to share the gospel, to encourage, to serve. This year I will be working with three different classes – what an opportunity for God to be working through me. Because I work for a BIG God, a God who is bigger than seniority numbers, administration and failed interviews, a sovereign God who has a plan and who works all things out for my good.
More than that, I am not working for a permanent, stable, comfortable job with summers off and great benefits (though upon typing this out, I wouldn’t turn it down). I am working to seek first the Kingdom of God, to build His kingdom here and to give Him all the glory. I pray that I will be reminded of that this year; if I happen to forget, feel free to remind me.
“Our calling is simple, Reflect the image and the likeness of Jesus Christ and tell everyone around us how much we love Him” – Tim Hamer on Mission: Seek First the Kingdom of God
So with that being said, I make the following vows this year (with the help of the Holy Spirit, because I definitely can’t do this on my own)…
1. I vow to work for the Lord with all my heart, mind and strength. (Matthew 22:37-40)
2. I vow to make Him known through my words, my actions, my efforts, my service. (Matthew 12:33-37)
3. I vow to build His Kingdom, not my own. (Matthew 6:33)
4. I vow to remember my identity in Christ, and come to Him with my insecurities. (Galatians 2:20)
5. I vow to praise Him, to thank Him, and to remember what He has done. (Psalm 9:1-2)
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” – Matthew 6:33-34 (ESV)
I read the above verses of Matthew 6 in mid-August, not allowing the words to make much of an impact. I read them again on August 28th, out of error thinking that it was Matthew 16. And yet while reading, the words seemed new and fresh, a word of encouragement that I needed to hear, and a word that God prepared for me that morning. A few days later, I listened to a sermon preached on those verses… coincidence? I think not. God sure has a way of making a point.
Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise, Thou mine Inheritance, now and always: Thou and Thou only, first in my heart, High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.
– Be Thou my Vision