Saturday, June 13, 2015

Risky Business

Tomorrow I am preaching in the AM to the Channelview Church of Christ. One story I will use is about the young lady in the photo above. This entry is about the kind of teenager who makes teaching such a great profession. It is from March 30, 2006.

She stayed after class to speak to me. Her name is Emily and she is in my sophomore Bible class. Emily is new to Westbury Christian this year and is competing in the Texas Christian School Association Literary Meet. She has entered the Bible reading competition and asked for help in selecting a passage for her presentation. She told me what she was looking for, a message of forgiveness. I suggested the Psalms. The contest requires a spoken introduction to set the tone followed by the reading, with allotted 5-7 minutes allotted. Knowing Emily, she will do a superb job. I did leave several pieces of information out. First, the reading is in Spanish. And secondly, Emily is Chinese. Her last name is Li and her non-Americanized first name is Weiyi. I have taught her less than one year and can already state that Emily is one of the finest students I have been blessed to teach. She is always prepared. I assign a great number of memory verses, some extensive, and Emily has not missed one point all year, going back to August. Like most of my Asian students, she owns a translator which interprets English words into Japanese, Korean, and Chinese, but she refuses to use it except as a last resort, not wanting it to be a crutch. She sits with Jackie who helps her when I go too quickly when we take notes about the life of Jesus. She's got a little bit of California in her so one day, I called her a Valley Girl. I had to explain the term and assure it was an okay thing. She's in the stuffed animal, non-matching shoe lace kind of thing, too. But, it doesn't mask the fact that God gave her a brilliant mind, a drive to succeed, and what I appreciate most, the willingness to go out on a limb.

I've mentioned before that I am anything but a risk taker. It floors me that a girl from across the ocean has the guts to compete against terrific students in what is effectively a third language. In my way of thinking, I can come up with a long list of why I would fail. That list is much longer than my list of reasons why I can prevail. She sees it as an educational opportunity. I would view it as a chance to humiliate myself. Emily has much more faith in herself than I had in myself at her age. Jesus spoke about what even a tiny amount of faith can do. In Matthew 17:20, he told his followers that if they had faith as small as a mustard seed, they could command a mountain to move... and it would! What change would that kind of faith have made in my life? Do I think it would have helped me win academic meets in a foreign language? No, but I would have tried and those type of experiences would better have prepared me for challenges that I would face. My faith in the Lord will increase my faith in myself. I think confidence is a gift from the Father in Heaven. Emily will succeed in life because she believes in herself. I believe in her, too.

Applicable quote of the day:
"The secret to my success is that I bit off more than I could chew and chewed as fast as I could."
Paul Hogan

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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JKC said...

Please tell Emily that I wish her the very best.

Jon said...

i hope she does well

JT said...

Emily will be in my prayers. God Bless You.