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  • Dr. Jackie Minor

LIGHT IT UP!

I love the state of Arkansas with its rolling hills, flush green countryside, and underground caves. Many of the caves are still living, slowly growing colorful stalactites and stalagmites. On one particular tour we entered a large cave with a seating area. Moments after everyone was settled, you could hear gasps when the lights were shut off and the room became pitch black. No telling what all of us looked like at that moment. I was waving my hand in front of my face thinking I would see something! Nope. I had never experienced darkness like this before. I didn’t like it.


It wasn’t long before the tour guides activated small lights to highlight a magnificent cave curtain. The light, though small, illuminated the entire room as our eyes searched for the beauty being revealed. There was a sense of awe in the room. I find it interesting how this one small light changed everything—our view, our perspective, our focus.


This stark contrast between dark and light has existed from the very beginning.

The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it. God sent man, John the Baptist, to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light. The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. John 1: 4-9

Don’t you love the very last sentence? Jesus is the TRUE light, and He offers his light to us. We don’t have to be in the dark! Just like in the cave, when we have God’s light, everything changes.


This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. So, we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:5-7


Being an educator today is a monumental task. We are asked to fill many roles—teacher, parent, nurse, counselor. At the same time, most of us are bombarded with new initiatives, changing leadership, and shifting visions. Yet, God has placed us where we are for a reason. We have the awesome privilege of shining His light in an increasingly dark world.


I think most would agree that there is a spiritual void in our society and, as a consequence, our schools. For some reason, we have bought into the lie that we have to “leave God out”. It is time to change this paradigm. As Christian educators, we can no longer have a dividing line between our work and our faith. If you are like me, you don’t deny you are a Christ follower. However, deep down it is easy to lose sight of our calling. We live in a lost world, and Satan knows how to derail us. If you are an educator, it isn’t by accident. Think of all of the parents, students and colleagues that we interact with on a daily basis. God wants us to “let our light shine before men”. Why? People need Jesus. Living in darkness is no fun.


I’m not recommending we pound our Bibles in the hallways or conduct sermons in the teachers’ workroom. Rather, our faith is played out daily in classrooms, hallways, meetings, and impromptu conversations. People find out who we are and what believe by how we act, what we say, and what we do. Growing in our walk with Christ is a daily process. We are changed from the inside out.


So, all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image. 2 Corinthians 3:18


As I look back on my career, I wish I would have been more purposeful in my daily quiet time and Bible study. Transformation can come quickly, but I find it is more often a daily commitment to walk in the light with Jesus. As we seek him, obey him, and trust him, we are changed.


I so desire that EVERY educator will have confidence to live out their faith in the workplace so that all will see Jesus and desire to know Him. Allen Catherine Kagina stated, “God does not know the division between church and politics, or church and business; we built those walls.” I believe the same is true for schools. We are called to serve others in education. It is time for us to invite God back into schools through us and watch Him work.


“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)


As a gift to you, I have created a 10-week Educator’s LIGHT journal. I love to journal, and I find having something to guide me helps. Please download the journal, copy it, and feel free to share it with others. I highly encourage you to read through the introductory pages as it sets the stage for the entire journal.


Join me in putting God back into our schools in a real, authentic way. Light up your workplace with the light of Jesus!


Click here to download journal: https://www.victoriouseducator.com/resources


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