Thursday, October 27, 2016

First Grade Instructor

You never know who you might meet lifting weights! This is from May 27, 2012.
Today was not a normal lifting day for me but my workout yesterday was only half its usual length due to several graduation parties so I had to finish my routine. On the weekends, there are many Asian folks at my club playing badminton, sometimes joined by several not of that ethnic persuasion. When I lift, I rest for only a few seconds between sets or to get a drink at the adjacent water fountain. As I went for my first gulp this afternoon, there was a little boy who beat me to the fountain and he must have swallowed a gallon. He was holding a small badminton racquet and he ran back into the gym. I came back several minutes later and my buddy was once again inhaling water. He said something about us being there at the same time. I asked if he was out of school yet and he informed me he had to go through next Thursday and that he would be in second grade next year. I told him I was a teacher and that we were out. I told him a little bit about my summer plans including my mission to Vietnam. He excitedly told me he was going to Vietnam, too, which is his hometown. (I'm pretty sure he meant his home country or the country of his folks who were playing badminton.) He told me his dad had won a medal in badminton and he had given it to him. He went back in the gym but several times, I saw him peeking around the corner, watching me lift. You know it's a good day when you make a new friend!

On this Lord's Day, I was blessed to hear three good sermons, two by Dave Yasko in our English services and one by Ronnie Chang on Esther in our worship in Chinese. But those weren't the only lessons I heard today. You see, as I was talking to my water fountain partner, I asked him about his summer plans, besides the beach in Vietnam. I asked him a logical question from my perspective: 
'Are you going to get some sleep?' 
His six/seven year old incredulity-filled reply: 
"WHY SLEEP???? It's summer!!" 
I wished I'd said that. Actually, I wished I had lived that in my earlier years when I started teaching. I wasted several summers doing next to nothing except sleeping and that was more from boredom rather than exhaustion. This little boy understand the concept that summer is a gift to be cherished and not squandered. The scriptures teach the precious nature of our days and I'm doing much better than I did in my early twenties. Of course, I wish I had those summers back but that's not the way it works, is it? If I could retrieve them, I know a young man who would put them to very good use. Usually, I'm the instructor when it comes to kids. Today, I was the student and I learned from a master teacher, or "su phu." You know, that's how they say it in his hometown.

Applicable quote of the day:
"Unlike grown ups, children have little need to deceive themselves."
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

God bless,
Luke 18:1
E-mail me at 

1 comment:

Sherry Ann said...

Another heart warming devotion from you, Steve. See you very soon :)