Friday, April 17, 2015

You Are Here

I was reading an article this week in Faith Today magazine -
Building a better Lego car it was called.
Naturally, it had to do with Lego, so I was enticed into reading it further.

It talked about watching children build Lego cars at Boston's Legoland Discovery Center.
Their creativity was endless;
they built, and raced, and then remodeled to improve their designs.
The author writes, "Neither success nor failure seemed to bring unhappiness in these young engineers as they joyfully continued to engage in the building process."

They were in it - 100% -
and continued to be in it no matter how the races went,
no matter if their cars fell apart,
with eyes eager to look for improvements and other options.

I also read an article on calling this week - this one in Relevant Magazine -
the author talked about calling not necessarily being your job,
but rather who you are.
It can be expressed in your work,
but that doesn't necessarily mean your job is your calling.

And putting these two together got me to thinking.
I always felt called to be a teacher -
aside from short blips on my high-school radar where someone told me I was too smart to work with 7 year olds all my life (unpacking that statement is a whole other blog post...),
where I wanted to have a black Jeep and so thought being a pharmacist might be all right and would give me the cash for said vehicle,
and that killer whale phase.
Yeah.
Anyone else want to train and swim with orcas until thinking it through and realizing there would be a lot of science courses involved in that (in pharmacy, too), and for someone who didn't love the sciences, it might not be the right career path?
I digress.
I always felt called to be a teacher -
from playing school with the neighbourhood kids,
to my early babysitting days,
it seemed like a natural fit.
And for the 11+ years I taught,
most of the time, I can say that it was.

Fast forward a little -
marry a pastor,
resign from teaching position,
move to a new community,
have a child,
and somewhere along the way that call to be a teacher got put to the side.
And let's be honest for a minute -
I miss it.
A lot.
Well, most of it.
I don't miss marking long writing assignments and projects,
or the crunch of report card time,
or late nights of preparing that often left little time for other things,
or the confrontations and conflicts that come with any job that involves working with people -
but even with all of that,
I miss it.
In many ways,
it defined me.
And I think I miss that, too.

But the reality is that the place I am right now,
is the place God has asked me to be.
And it's not all bad.
I'm pretty fond of the pastor I married,
and am getting to know people and making friends in my new community.
I still have connections with good friends who aren't so close by,
opportunities to do some small bits of education work,
and a pretty cute little girl who is cheerful most of the time.

In this place, where I am now,
I have the same responsibility to develop the gifts God has given me;
the same need to find ways to be creative and to look for improvements and other options in regards to what my gifts are or how to use them;
I can still be a teacher -
of how to walk and learn and obey (perhaps even without the marking?);
I can be the "me" God has designed and called me to be -
without the definitions of me that I identified with before.

As the author of the second article put it:
"This isn't to say that it will be easy.
On the contrary, good work is hard work."

But good work is what we are called to -
no matter where we are on the map when we see that "You are here" pointer -
and if we seek to fulfill that calling,
we will be blessed,
and likely even find joy in the process.

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