Workers in the Kingdom

The holiday season with its flurry of excitement is past. Gone are the days of Christmas program practice, class parties, and Christmas break. Here instead are midwinter days filled with the daily grind. You get up on another cold, dark morning and drive to school before sunup. Your classroom is filled with wet boots and runny noses. The perpetual stack of papers to grade seems higher than ever, and problems you never imagined back in October are now surfacing in your classroom.

Maintaining vision and energy for teaching throughout the winter months in the middle of the school year can be challenging, and it is here in this space that we especially need to be reminded of our purpose and calling as Christian school teachers. We should have much more to fuel our vitality than just a cup of coffee and the promise of a paycheck. Yet it is easy to lose sight of the sacred mission we possess amid the pressures of everyday work and mundane routines.

What is this sacred mission? Is it only to serve students and their parents? Many of us got involved in teaching in the first place because we love children and young people, and we want to make a difference in their lives. This seems noble and right. We also want to serve families and to come alongside parents in this important task of raising and educating children. This too is a worthwhile goal. But if our primary focus is only on serving children and families well, we put ourselves on a swift downward path toward burnout.

In order to sustain a dynamic vision of our true vocation, our focus must be on serving Christ, His Church, and His Kingdom. We get to be privileged workers in the Kingdom of God! We are helping to train and equip more Kingdom workers. Keeping this perspective has the potential to revolutionize the ordinary moments of everyday life in the classroom. These moments become holy as we see them through the lenses of eternity and realize the impact that our work can have.

One of the most beautiful parts of this is that our work is not just for the future; it is also for today. That child sitting in your math class may use the tools you are giving him to become a business owner who will build the Kingdom of God by serving the community and channeling funds toward mission work. Your excitement over the science lesson may spark an interest in a student who will bless many people by becoming involved in the medical field. But that is not all. By enjoying and interacting with God’s good creation, you and your students are worshiping and glorifying God in the present. This classroom, that playground, or a class walk in the woods is part of Christ’s Kingdom, here and now.

Tomorrow as you grade papers, tidy your messy classroom, address bad attitudes, and pass out tissues, may you be blessed with a deep sense of purpose. May you have eyes to see beyond the ordinary and to recognize the true nature of your calling.

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