I’m not going to mince words. I love May! I know many educators are running on fumes, but for most May represents the beginning of the end. We get a temporary reprieve from months of early mornings, late nights, long hours of planning, and feelings of constant exhaustion. Knowing rest is around the corner makes for a “merry May!”
Having said that, I realize not everyone has the same perspective. Sadly, some choose “miserable May” instead. As Christian educators let’s embrace May and make the month merry for ourselves, our students, and our colleagues! Our enjoyment and cheerful attitude demonstrate to others a joy from deep within, a joy that is not dictated by what month it is.
“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11
Before we explore some ways to make May merry, I want to take a moment and share why I think it is so important to be intentional about our actions in May. First of all, Colossians 3 tells us we are representatives of the Lord Jesus. Our work should be done willingly as if we were working for the Lord. Others are watching. What do we want them to see?
Second, May is our final opportunity to make an impact in the lives of many of our students. Some children we may never see again. While we may not always accomplish our academic goals with certain students, we can make sure they feel loved. Our students may not remember those all-important vocabulary words, but they will remember you and the heart you had for them. I’ll let you be the judge of which is more important.
Finally, life is too short to be miserable! When we choose to be merry instead of miserable, life will certainly be more pleasurable! Yes, it is okay to have fun! Would you believe the Bible has something to say about enjoying life?
Solomon writes about this very topic in the book of Ecclesiastes. Without going into too much detail, Solomon was considered the wisest and richest man in the Bible. He set out on a journey to find meaning in life through just about every avenue possible. His conclusion? Without God, everything is meaningless and futile. I love these verses in Ecclesiastes 3.
Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to the end. So, I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God (v. 11-13 – emphasis mine).
Despite life’s difficulties, God has given us so much to enjoy. His desire for us is good, and we honor Him when we enjoy our lives! So, what can we do to make May merry for ourselves and those around us? I will share a few of my ideas, but I encourage you to come up with your own! What is merry for me may not be for you! For those finishing school in June, you may need to create a few extra!
Jackie’s May Merrymakers
Pre-Day Prayer. Before students arrive or meetings begin, pause to thank God for this day in May. Try reciting Psalm 16:11. “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Ask God to fill you with His joy and help you to find pleasure in each and every task, even the ones that feel meaningless.
Bless Others. Purposefully choose one student and one colleague each day. Encourage them, thank them, compliment them, or gift them. Be authentic as you spread merriness. It doesn’t have to feel awkward. Remember, Jesus encouraged us to treat others as we would want to be treated (Luke 6:31). I’m convinced being a blessing to someone else actually blesses us! Proverbs 11:25 says, ”The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.”
Work Hard. This may seem a bit odd, but doing our best in May can be a merrymaker! Finishing well leaves us with no guilt or regrets. Would you believe Solomon had thoughts on our work ethic, too? In fact, he was pretty blunt about the matter. “Whatever you do, do well. For when you go to the grave, there will be no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom” (Ecclesiastes 9:10). In other words, it is important to make the best of the time we have. How we work can either discourage us or encourage us. We simply feel better when we do our best, even if our circumstances aren’t ideal. God always seems to fill in the gap when we do our best! “Plant your seed in the morning and keep busy all afternoon, for you don’t know what if profit will come from one activity or another – or maybe both.” Ecclesiastes 11:6
These merrymakers are only suggestions to get you started. Take a few moments and reflect on what you can do to make May merry. Write them down, and commit to finishing strong. As Solomon says, enjoy your life, and enjoy your work! (Ecclesiastes 5:18)
Make May Merry!