I’m sitting here dressed and ready to go, but I just got the call that my literacy student can’t make it today. So now what? Don’t you hate it when you’re all psyched up for something and then your plans are wrecked? Sometimes I do, but, in this case, NO! Right now I feel free to enjoy this rainy, cozy day. Hallelujah!
Why such relief? Because no matter how many times I teach, I still get nervous about it. Someone is looking to me for answers that I should have (I do have the teacher’s manual after all), but that I’m always worried I won’t. And that’s a lot of pressure for a person who really cares about getting it right.
It’s hard for someone like me to admit that she doesn’t know the answer, and the older I get, the fewer answers I seem to have. It’s unsettling. Years ago, I foolishly believed that as I matured I would grow wise and know more not less. Well … surprise! The reverse seems to be more accurate.
As I ponder this surprising situation, I am glad to recall others who paved my way. A couple of older ladies at a LifeWay conference who made me cry by telling their audience that it only got harder as they aged (“it” being life). Several professors as I studied for my Master of Christian Studies at Union University who frequently reminded us that there were only a few non-negotiable truths to hang on to and that many of the other ideas we called “truth” were negotiable. Writers galore.
And now I find myself in agreement with them. My fifties appear to be the decade for “letting go.” I have let go of my children, and I have been blessed to see all three head out on their own good paths. I have let go of some goals that no longer matter to the older me. I have let go of some relationships as our directions have diverged. And I have let go of some “truths” I once fiercely believed.
I could spend the next few paragraphs listing these discarded beliefs, but that would be silly–who knows when I may drift their way again? I’d rather state a few of those truths that have remained and that I trust I will still believe tomorrow (or this afternoon).
1. GOD IS GOOD. Despite the evil that appears to grow daily in the world, this is a truth I cannot shake. It is embedded in my core–I guess the Holy Spirit put it there–and I am thankful everyday for its foundation.
2. JESUS AS GOD/MAN PAID THE PRICE FOR MY SINS. Grace is real, and for that grace I would give my all (but it’s free!)
3. RELATIONSHIPS MATTER. How I treat other people matters–it matters to them, it matters to me, and it matters to God.
I know there are more, but I have just gained some unexpected free time, and I think I’ll use it to read. There are still so many books and so little time! I’m currently reading Bad Religion by Ross Douthat, and I’m discovering that I’m a perfect example of my baby boomer demographic. What a relief–I’m not alone, and God is still in control of this day, of this girl, and of this world.