“Do it again.”

One of my favorite quotes from any book on faith comes from GK Chesterton’s Orthodoxy: 

“Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.”

Our Father’s youth is that eternal Hope that raises us up after we fall.  And for those like me, whose addictions and impulses make falling a fairly regular occurrence (read: daily),

when I don’t feel like getting up,

when it is so much easier to wallow in the muck and mire of past mistakes,

when I’ve gone to bed the night before feeling like a failure,

when there is just no way I can deal with this anymore,

when my job becomes tough and I’m not sure what kind of teacher I am to my students,

Jesus reaches out his hand to pull me up.

And says “Walk with me.

I’m here.

Come to me.

Do it again.

I’m always here.”

Despair feels old, doesn’t it?  And after the heck of the week I’ve had, with nice highs and real lows, it’s good to see the sun rise outside my window.  The daily new beginning.

A student told me I was already one of his favorite teachers.  “Even though you work us real hard.”  Smile there.

In the same class, a girl came up to me after the bell, tears in her eyes.

“Please move my seat next week, the boy next to me says bad things to me.”

She’s being bullied, and I didn’t catch it.  No smile there.  Please pray for her.

Highs and lows.

But, says the Lord, walk into the classroom again.  No, you didn’t fail.  Yes, you will have to address the issue.  Yes it will be tough.

No, do not despair.

I’m always here.

Do it again.

 

 

Absolutely More

Well, I’m back in the mix, and what a tiring day!  I’m a teacher by trade- high school English- and our “preplanning” sessions have begun.  A week of preparation before the onslaught of 3200 kids!  Classrooms to get ready, new learning protocols to adopt and adapt to, and of course, readying the spirit and soul for the unexpected!

I think of the number of things that are on my plate, and I get almost dizzy:

1. I’ve been made department chair, so I have added responsibilities of keeping together a growing and changing English Department.

2. I am teaching two preps: AP English Lit and British Literature/History

3. I am taking two grad school classes for my master’s study in literature.

4. I am blessed to be chosen as an LEV (lay eucharistic visitor) at my church, bringing the holy bread and wine to those who cannot join us in church.

5. I am blessed to be leading our children’s program at church once a month.

6.  Chesterton Society meetings

7.  I am continuing counseling to heal my addictions and anxieties

All of these are blessings, but you can perhaps see how they might be a bit overwhelming, especially for this frazzled, disorganized follower of Christ.

However.

Recently a former student posted on Facebook that “Whoever said God never gives you anything you can’t handle is having a joke on me and God!”

Hmmm.

I remembered a quote from a book and went to dig it out for a response.

Ah, here it is.  From Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis.

“I believe that God totally, absolutely, intentionally gives us more than we can handle.  Because this is when we surrender to Him and He takes over, proving Himself by doing the impossible in our lives.”

Well, okay then!

I surrender!  🙂

Peace to you all, especially all you teachers and students!