“A charge to keep I have… to serve the present age, my calling to fulfill. O may it all my powers engage to do my Master’s will.” (Charles Wesley)
Who am I working for? If I’m working for God I should be doing my best to work diligently and to my full capacity, and I don’t need accolades from others. It’s for God. Therefore, if I’m working long hours and giving my time, and supporting others, I can think of that as serving, and not look for others to thank me or say that I’m doing a good job. This is my ministry and my calling. In I Samuel 30:6 David encouraged himself in the Lord and found strength in the Lord: “David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.” I can do the same.
As we approach the end of the school year, we think about finishing well, wanting to keep going strong, and crossing that finish line. Many of us will have Track and Field Days and this provides a picture of our school year. If we’re running in a race, we aren’t going to slow down as we near the finish line. We want to keep going strong until we cross over that line. Maybe we will even speed up as we see that finish line approaching.
I will use today for an example. On Thursday we have PE in the morning, so my reading block is broken up. I need to have spelling and writing classes in the afternoon. By the time we got to writing class at 1:45, I was tired and really didn’t feel like being enthusiastic about writing a key word outline. I was tempted to say, “Let’s play a game!” but I kept going strong and we did writing, and had a good class.
We have end-of-the-year assessments this week, and I feel nervous about this, as it seems like my students are starting to check out. I want them to keep going strong, do their best, and perform well on the assessments. Today we talked about this in devotions. When you are running a race, do you want to say, “Oh, I see the finish line? I’ll just start walking now.” No! You may even speed up when you see that finish line.
We talked about going strong until the end of first grade – not giving up but doing even better than we had been. We compared this to the Christian life, also. We want to keep going strong, following Jesus, clear until the end of our lives. I think of 2 Timothy 4:7, “I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
We made blue ribbons to help us remember all of this. (We had a blue paper circle and put a gold notary sticker on that. We attached a strip of blue paper with a ‘v’ cut out of the bottom. Last, we wrote with Sharpie, “Finish well. #1”) We are wearing the ribbons or keeping them on our desks where we can be reminded to “Keep going strong” and “Finish well!”
As the teacher, I want to keep going strong, keeping my charge, serving my students and their families, and fulfill my calling to teach this class.
CONTRIBUTOR: Arlene Birt