LESSONS LEARNED SERIES Lesson 2: Little Things Matter. You Matter.
Updated: Nov 11, 2018
Sometimes the lessons we learn as educators come from major events laced with joy or controversy. Other times lessons result from the little things in life—actions or words that seemed insignificant to us but proved monumental for others. While important events can result in life lessons, I would argue it is the little things that happen day in and day out that not only shape us but impact those around us in ways that are often unknown to us.
One day I was walking out of my office when a teacher approached me regarding one or her students. The young man she wanted to discuss with me was not a stranger to the principal’s office. He had some behavior and truancy issues, and we were constantly dialoguing about strategies that would help him and his family. However, today she had not come to share a concern. Earlier that day I had sent this boy a card. To be honest, I can’t remember exactly what I said, but I know it had something to do with validating his progress. The teacher happened to be standing nearby when he opened the card, and she watched as tears streamed down his face. Of course she approached him to ask what was wrong. His response? “No one has ever given me a card like this before.” Standing there in my office, we both cried.
Little things matter. When I sat down to write the card to this student, I had no idea that God was going to use it to show this child that HE mattered—that someone cared.
Being an educator today is hard work. Sometimes it feels like we take one step forward and two steps back. Maybe you are feeling…
· overwhelmed. The needs of your students are just too great.
· discouraged. Kids and/or parents don’t seem to care anymore.
· underappreciated. No one acknowledges your hard work.
· tired. Tired of changes in leadership, curriculum, lesson planning, and grading.
While I acknowledge all of these feelings are legitimate, let me reassure you that the little things you do matter. YOU MATTER. If God has called you to teach, He will provide all you need to fulfill His calling on your life. His Word says so.
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can
do the good things He planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10
But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory
over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit
who lives in the world. I John 4:4
For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13
While the little things we say and do matter, I must constantly remind myself that it is the MOTIVE behind the little things that matters to God. In Isaiah 64 we are reminded that our righteous deeds can appear as filthy rags before the Lord.
Sincerity matters. God knows our heart. One of my favorite verses is Colossians 3:23-24.
Whatever you do, do your work heartily as for the Lord rather than for men,
knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance.
It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.
Working heartily means working willingly, putting forth your BEST effort. While this seems like a tall order, it is the least we can do for an Almighty God that chose us, loves us, and saves us on a daily basis. The result? An inheritance—God’s reward for you.
Join me in being more purposeful with the little things.
1. Thank God for the opportunity He has given you to impact the lives of children, our next generation.
2. Reflect on your teaching background. Think about those times when you know you made a difference for a student, parent or colleague. Thank God for the opportunity you had to show His love.
3. Ask God to make you aware of those in your life that need a special word of encouragement, a pat on the back, or small token of appreciation. Act on whatever God places on your heart.
4. Smile at everyone you see! Let them see God’s love shining on your face.
5. Put Galatians 5:22-23 on a notecard and place it where you can see it every day.
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy,
peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
There is no law against these things!
What is God calling you to do this week? Little things matter. YOU MATTER!