By Lisa Huddleston
This post is a re-run. No, that does not mean that I am reprinting an old post—it does mean that I have to keep learning its message over and over, time after time, ad nauseam even. Sheesh!
This truth is that doing anything, accomplishing almost any goal is more about persistence than it is about anything else. And that is a difficult truth to grasp.
Heck, I literally have this message tattooed on my right foot—truly—so you’d think I might be able to remember it. A long obedience in the same direction … is what gets us wherever it is we hope to arrive.
But this week I faced a difficult situation at “work.” I use quotation marks to set off this designation, because I am not a “real” employee at the Adult Learning Center. I am just a “volunteer” meaning I can come and go as I please and no one can really can expect too much of my abilities as a teacher.
Now, that doesn’t mean that is how I treat my “job.” I actually take it very seriously, show up on time, watch the clock during breaks, do my best with any task I’m given, and so on—as long as I am not paid to deliver I am less worried about my perceived inadequacies as a teacher and I can assist spontaneously without panic or too much fear.
However, this week was different. The regular teacher was taking a well-deserved vacation, and, because she is a true force to be reckoned with and would not take no for an answer, I was to teach in her place! What what?!
Oh, don’t think I didn’t try my best to squirm out of it! One thing I did was decide to spend my volunteer hours this whole year on one day instead of splitting them between two days as I had in the past. I told them it was a more efficient use of my time (and it probably truly is), but it was really because I hoped they’d get someone else to substitute for these two weeks! They did not.
But after teaching on Tuesday, I realized how difficult it was going to be for the “real” workers to cover “my” classes, and I felt guilty putting work I could do onto others so I caved. I actually offered to do it all! And as soon as I did, I knew it was the right step to take.
The truth is, God made me to be a teacher in one capacity or another, and when I walk in obedience to that I honestly find a great deal of joy. My family, friends, and other teachers have all told me so–but fear is a difficult obstacle to overcome. Thankfully, the classes this week went very well, the students seemed happy and engaged in learning, and I felt useful if not actually confident in the role.
So it’s one step at a time as the opportunities arise—for at least another week and hopefully for a long time after that. No, I don’t plan to apply for a “real job” as a teacher, but I’m trying not to rule anything out. God knows the work he has for me to do and as long as I can keep my eyes off of me and focus on the needs I can meet then all will be well. I pray … if I can just keep walking … and maybe position myself from time to time to see that crazy tattoo on the outside of my foot!
What goals or needs or opportunities are you allowing to go unmet because of fear or lack of discipline or insecurity or self-indulgence? Do you secretly know of something you feel drawn to do but aren’t willing to face up to the obstacles that stand in your way? What can you do today to set your eyes and your feet back on the path of long obedience? May these words encourage us all—just do it and then keep on doing it!