What are the first thoughts that come to mind when your head hits the pillow at night?
The pile of papers that need grading? The students who struggle with academic or behavioral issues? The new policies handed down by the district? The downward trend in academic proficiency occurring across the nation? Or, do your thoughts tend toward the spiritual needs of your classroom and those students who do not yet know Christ?
Indeed, the complex and important nature of our responsibilities as educators requires time for contemplation. However, too much time spent reflecting on the challenging situations and countless decisions we have to make can lead to a sense of overwhelm. Over time, the seemingly endless flow of thoughts and to-do lists may even begin to make us feel hopeless.
As Christian educators, how can we preserve hope when our thoughts are threatening to overwhelm us?
We can begin to answer this question by examining the definition of hope. The world defines hope as a future possibility. But biblical hope is defined as a current and unfolding reality based on God’s Word and His faithful, unwavering character.
The hope that we have as followers of Christ is not based on the possibility or probability that God might fulfill His will, but on the expectant reality that His plans will always be fulfilled.
Likewise, as Christian educators, we can remain full of hope that God will also fulfill His will for our classrooms, regardless of the chaos surrounding us. We can focus on the eternal hope of Christ and the work He is doing and promises to do in our classrooms by asking ourselves the following three questions at the end of the day:
- What is my mission as a Christian educator?
- Have I realistically pursued this mission for the glory of God in the last 24 hours?
- How am I modeling the hope I have in Christ when I’m in my classroom?
These questions can provide us with closure for the day and help us evaluate our missions as Christian educators. Once they are answered, rather than wrestling with overwhelming thoughts, we can lay our heads on our pillows and sleep, resting in the confident hope that God is sovereign and His good plan will unfold in our classrooms.
Luke Baker is a follower of Christ and an educator living in the Pacific Northwest. He thoroughly enjoys sharing his excitement for learning about God’s Word and the world with his students.
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