Beyond Milk

Life , God, truth– these are uncondensible. We try valiantly to stuff them into 45 minute Sunday school lessons, but it doesn’t work because life isn’t always simply black and white.,DSCN0277“Tommy shouldn’t have done that.” like the didactic  story lessons. Sometimes life can be made to feel absolute for a time, like at summer camp, or a Christian retreat facility. But isn’t that lying? The re-committed victims come home and try to hold the feeling only to crash and burn eventually. All that to say that I feel guilty for teaching condensed milk  lessons, but I don’t know what to do about it.

I can’t teach life. Sure, I can bring in real life stories, and try to broaden the focus of my topic, but ultimately I will always fail to unpack all aspects of a subject. I will often fail to bring out enough to apply to even most real world situations. It irks me even though I know I am not superhuman. It scares me be because I don’t want always to teach to a single end, or through a single lens like the teachers that frustrate me. I want to pull in multiple angles, explain and express them well, and finally to present a choice, as  my favorite teachers have. I do not want to be like the ones screaming “This is the only true view!” as I shove my beliefs down students’ throats.

This is my conundrum. It takes longer to make great lessons, and inspiration doesn’t always come. Even when it does come I am never fully satisfied with the results. I will never reach perfection because I am a broken vessel, exceedingly imperfect. I know I should lighten up, but I don’t know if I can, because it’s human souls we’re talking about here. The best I can do is pray that God uses me in my brokenness to reach their hearts.

Categories: My Life, rants | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Beyond Milk

  1. Appreciate your honesty and that you have a heart for God and souls. In teaching Sunday school (adult women through toddlers at different times) and VBS etc. for years, I have found that God answers that prayer you put at the end of this blog. Sometimes, He blesses someone with a verse that He put into my mind to share in the midst of teaching–planned by Him, not me…but we as teachers need to stay close to God and in His Word and open to His leading and prepare, under the Holy Spirit’s guidance, to the best of our ability and trust God for the rest. Wisdom for living?–let’s ask believing He hears and answers. Because he does.

    • Yes. God does answer…even when I feel (and am) insufficient, he provides answers in the form of ideas. Teaching is new to me, so I appreciate your affirming that He continues to provide always. He provides when we ask, so lets keep asking.

  2. Certainly, as Linda Turner mentions in her comment, any answer eventually comes back to the truth: God is faithful. That is the rock on which everything else must be built. Beyond that foundational truth, I have a lot of thoughts on the issue you bring up–but I will try to school myself to brevity today 🙂

    Three inter-related things I would encourage:

    Share your passion
    Be honest
    Ask hard questions

    All of those come back to God. Share your passion for God–who He is, and how you want to know Him more. Be honest about who God is–God is not some thing which fits into a nice neat box. Ask hard questions about who God is, and what that means in life.

    To look at it from another angle–it is said, “Ask, seek, knock, and the door will be opened” and that is personal. When people try to teach I think there is a tendency to try to ask, seek, and knock for other people–and then shove them through the open door. But that doesn’t work. A large part of teaching should be the stirring up the desire for asking, seeking, and knocking in those we desire to grow in knowledge and understanding. Because if they aren’t asking the questions, seeking the answers, and knocking on God’s door then God isn’t going to open.

    The answer to apathy is spiritual renewal–and that bears fruit in passion, honesty, and hard questions.

    Okay, I’ve gone on long enough. I’ll stop there.

    • There is much wisdom in the brief bit you shared. Sometimes out of frustration, I don’t let my passion, questions, and honesty shine through, but that’s what I want in a teacher so I should be it. I want people to meet God so much, but when the time is right I don’t know how to share Him.

      God is good, though. He uses me anyways.

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