Thursday, January 05, 2017

No Record Of Wrongs

My classes spent yesterday re-decorating one of the walls in my classroom as we do four times each year. The first layer is a tracing of our hands interwoven with facts about ourselves. We take that a little farther with a coat of arms in October. In April, we will blanket the wall with artwork highlighting our benevolence work in Haiti and Honduras. And to start the new year, we broke down Paul's treatise on love from 1st Corinthians 13 into sixteen statements and each student illustrated their chosen phrase. About half of the youngsters are finished- the general rule is that the longer they take, the better the work. I used some stories to help them think although I am no match for google images. One anecdote dealt with a college friend who was very irritated by a habit of mine. I knew he was perturbed but he wouldn't tell me why. A mutual friend divulged the source of the conflict to me, I ceased the annoying habit, and the story ended although we never discussed it. Almost all of the kids revealed they have a loved one who does something that really bothers them but they also admitted the offending party was unaware. They also confessed they probably annoy others themselves. Must be part of the human condition!

That brings me to Monday. On January 2nd, the Westbury Christian faculty and staff had our first inservice day since school began in August. Here's what was awesome: all five of the meetings I attended came in under the time allotment, something that almost never happens! (All you teachers can AMEN me here!) During one of our upper school meetings, I was seated a bit away from a group of colleagues who were situated around a table in our library. I heard someone clear their throat but ignored it as I knew it had nothing to do with me. Suddenly, I felt a nudge on my leg from a foot. It belonged to Gracie Greer, our Director of Curriculum. Gracie said nothing but made a gesture with her hand which I understood; I was unconsciously continuously clicking the pen I held to take notes and it was a distraction. I wasn't embarrassed- my mind was simply elsewhere! I've corrected kids who play with their pencils so I knew where she was coming from. Without Gracie's intervention, my clicking would have continued unabated.  What I really thought was funny was finding out the next day in class that one of  my colleagues had in good humor referenced the incident in his class without naming me as the culprit. As always, I find myself on the wrong side of the law!

We often speak, rightly, of Jesus' teaching in Matthew 7:3, the story of the speck and the plank in they eye. We teach, rightly, about getting rid of our own sin before helping others. I also think it's noteworthy in that we could let something so small bother us! But we do and we let others' foibles grate on us until they can become more of a barrier than a nuisance. The tiny pebble in the shoe becomes the blister which becomes the infection. We need to overlook the idiosyncrasies of others- we have them in our own DNA as well. Wipe the slate clean. In most cases, there should not be a slate in the first place. My juniors today discussed today the Sermon on the Mount; you know, love your enemies and pray for them and go the extra mile. My feeling is that the record of wrongs we might be embracing would more likely be tallied on a friend or relative, someone we spend time with and have a history. Don't worry about the small stuff. Let it go...... and while you're at it, remind me to stop clicking my pen!

Applicable quote of the day
“To be wronged is nothing, unless you continue to remember it.” 

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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