It was triggered with an innocent conversation. My words are in italics...
"So, how is teaching going?"
"Great! I feel like I'm really coming into my teaching personality."
"Yeah, I wanted to be a teacher at one time, but I just really want a job that I know I will be able to support myself in."
It probably sounds like nothing to anyone else, but to me it was like a knife to the heart. (Mini-disclaimer: If the person who I had this conversation with happens to read this, please don't feel badly. I know you didn't mean anything by it, and hey God used you! Thank you for that). This topic has bothered me a long time about teaching. Not necessarily the "small" paycheck, more the fact that the job gets very little respect. I feel dumb even saying that out loud, but it is truly how I feel . I remember as a high school senior, when I was trying to decide what to go to major in, I drew a drawing that detailed the big decisions I was facing. I felt like I had to choose between being a big successful person (I was thinking about being a lawyer at this point) or having the white picket fence life. Well, I decided that my life was more about making money or being successful on my own. My life is about becoming like Jesus and serving Him. I thought the best way I could do that was to become a teacher and "love the unlovable (ha, middle school)" as Jesus did.
The truth is, this expands to a much bigger thing than just my choice of profession. It revealed a very ugly sin in my life: pride. God has been bombarding me lately with the idea of humility. Humility is really one of the best words to describe Christ. This year has really helped me to be humble. Just being new and honestly not knowing a lot about what's going on, I am not tempted to feel entitled or be on a high horse. I was talking with a friend and compared it to another time I was new at a job (RA in college). My first year, I was much more agreeable and willing to do whatever because I didn't know any better. But, the second year, I was a senior and a veteran so I took on the totally wrong attitude and wasn't humble at all.
However, I have noticed pride in another area of my life- my marriage. This is really honest, but I want to get it down. I have discovered that I often take things my husband says as an attack when he doesn't mean it as an attack at all. For example, if I cooked something and he says "Maybe next time we can add a little more of this", I take it as he thinks I did a bad job, which he totally didn't. As I was mulling over this realization of pride, I saw pride in those reactions. This is something I am praying about and we are working through together.
This Christy Nockels song really speaks to what I am feeling right now. It is entitled "Choose"..
Let me be in love with what You love.
Let me be most satisfied in You.
Forsaking what this world has offered me.
I choose to be in love with You.
I will choose to be in love with You.
Let me know the peace that's mine in You.
Let me know the joy my heart can sing.
For I have nothing Lord apart from You.
I choose to call on Christ in me.
I will choose to call on Christ in me.
For in the fullness of who You are.
I can rest in this place.
And giving over this, my journey.
Lord I see nothing but Your face.
Let me know that You have loved me first.
Let me know the weight of my response.
For You have long pursued my wandering hear.
I choose to glory in Your cross.
I will choose to glory in Your cross.
And I bow down...Humbly, I bow down...Humbly,
I bow down... I bow down...I bow down, I bow down
my beloved- here I am I bow down, I bow down to You...
I choose you, Lord. I choose love.
Father, thank you for sanctifying my heart.
I long to present it as a clean living sacrifice to You.
Help me to choose humility as you did. Your willingness to humble yourself to death on a cross is amazing. Help me to act in humility to everyone I come in contact with, and especially those I love most. You are the potter and I am the clay. Mold me into what you desire. I humbly bow down to you. All I have is Yours. My whole life Father. Nothing, not success or pride or money or fame or accomplishment, is more important that completing Your work and knowing You.