Does anyone else feel like we are in a sci-fi movie? A mysterious virus emerges from nowhere, threatening our entire way of life. All of the elements are present, from the villain to the horrific fatalities. Covid-19 is the villain and we are all in the fight of our lives. Then, there’s the ongoing fight against social injustice that poses yet another threat to our way of life as well. Not to mention, the threat that faces our education system which is the very foundation of our land. This year has brought one crisis after another, and it begs this question—How will we emerge from 2020?
Will we throw in the towel, wave the white flag, or will we mobilize our troops and forge ahead with a plan to win?
There’s one thing I want you to realize at this very moment—we are the indispensable human race and we were created to forge ahead! We will not give up, and we will not throw in the towel! We must take care of ourselves, our families and help others when we can. We will keep fighting against every single villain that comes our way! We must not be divided by hate and discrimination. We must mount up our wings like eagles! We must unite and dig deep into our arsenal of strength, courage and grit with every ounce of our being! And when we do, we will emerge stronger, better and wiser! We must make it our goal, to be able to look back on this time in history and say, “We didn’t quit, we didn’t give up, we fought back, and we won!
When life throws curve ball after curve ball, you have two choices. You can either thrown down the bat and walk away, or you can keep on swinging. If you think about it, this is the choice we are faced with every day. In a world of negativity in which we find ourselves in, we have to make the right choice. My husband and I were recently in a spot where we had to make a choice. We had a family member who had a child who was having a tough time in school. Of course, me being an educator and him being a minister, we knew we had to step in. The boy is only in elementary school and we realize this is a crucial time for him. We also know that the “Pipeline to Prison” is a very real thing in the African-American community, and for young boys if no one intervenes for them, that is the path they will be on.
Therefore, we decided to intervene and we brought him home right after Thanksgiving. (Which is why I haven’t posted in a while) Yes, it has been quite an undertaking. We forgot what it was like to have a little one in the house again. Fortunately, our teenagers all chip in, and we are making it work for him. No matter how the days go, we know what our goal is: to keep him on the right path and out of the prison population. All that to say, when you see negative situations around you, sometimes you are called to intervene–and in those times, you must! Nonetheless, there are some key nuggets I want to encourage you with today, about how to stay positive in a negative world:
Set some personal goals (long term and short term) and have some fun pursuing them every day
Find something to be thankful for in your life and focus on the good
Be Constantly Prayerful
Rely on the truth of your faith to guide your thoughts
Be Consistently Relentless
Decide that no matter what, you are not giving up on yourself or your goals
Be Driven by Love
Let love be your guide in your interactions with others
Be encouraged friends, and keep on swinging that bat–you are bound to hit something if you just keep on swinging!
In Matthew 5:1-2, there are four points we can learn from the master teacher today. As I studied this passage, it became more and more clear that he is our example. As a teacher he is showing us how we can apply what he did, to our daily plight in the classroom. Notice the scripture:
Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them.
The first thing I noticed was the word went. In other words, he took an action by going where he was supposed to go and being where he was supposed to be.
Lesson 1: Show up! I have heard some say that 90% of the battle is showing up. I know this is hard some times when things look bleak, but you cannot see how God will work in your favor if you don’t show up. So we have to keep showing up, trusting that he will show up on our behalf.
The next thing I noticed was the word mountainside. As I studied this word in the dictionary, I was led to the word intention, because he intended to be on the mountainside. In other words, he had one intention and that was to teach that day exactly where he was.
Lesson 2: Be intentional! For me, I think this is screaming to be intentional about everything you do as a teacher. I’m talking about everything from what you are planning to wear to what you are going to say to your students. You know they notice everything about you, so give them something to notice.
The third thing I noticed was that he sat down. This might seem like a small thing here, but I think it is huge. I’m not talking about the fact that he sat down, but I am referring to the fact that he positioned himself. To sit is to be in a certain position, and that is exactly what he did.
Lesson 3: Position Yourself! This means, as teachers we must put ourselves in a position to be successful. In other words, plan for your morning to go smoothly before you even leave the house. Plan out your lessons strategically so that no matter what interruption you encounter, you will maintain your position. When you position yourself correctly, you are setting yourself up for a good day, no matter what!
Finally, I noticed the end of the verse where he began to teach. He showed up, he went where he was supposed to go, he positioned himself, and then it was showtime. He did what he intended to do all along. He taught everything he planned to teach that day.
Lesson 4: Seize the moment! Listen, I know sometimes things get sidetracked. I know there a million things that can go wrong while you are trying to teach. I have been there when the phone rings, someone interrupts class, or a behavior demands attention. These things will happen, but the point here is to deal with things as they come, but stay focused on what you are there to do. Take advantage of every moment that you have a captive audience. Make every moment count by taking advantage of teachable moments throughout the day! Seize the moment!
I wish you well on your journey today, as you take each day one step at a time and continue to learn from the Master Teacher!