Monday, October 15, 2012

Lead On

I have a sweet, kind class this year, but one of my students (we'll call this child "X") behaves in a way that is unpredictable and inappropriate for a classroom setting.  I like this child very much, but the baffling behavior gets in the way of X's learning (often) and my teaching (sometimes). It upsets me because so much good goes on in our room.  I have a well behaved class in an organized room, and these distractions don't fit well with my outlined plans for each day.

Beyond that, of course, I cannot give more details.

Yesterday in church, because of these political times, the message was about leadership, specifically how to pray for our leaders and our potential leaders. The crux of it all was that we must pray that our elected officials recognize God is in control.  The United States is a great country, but we need to look to Heaven--our leaders need to look to Heaven--for guidance.

The story that was shared was from Daniel chapter 4.  King Nebuchadnezzar was surveying his kingdom and admiring it greatly when God stopped him in his tracks, and, well, turned him into someone who was more animal than human.  At the end of seven years (or so), Nebuchadnezzar turned toward Heaven and realized it is God who deserves praise for all our accomplishments.  He was returned to his kingly demeanor and went on to testify that God is the one who deserves all praise and credit.  (Eugene Peterson's The Message has nothing on my retelling!)

I recognize that if I were to bring a nonbelieving friend to church, this story might be scoffed at as magical thinking.  But to me it held truth.  Shrinking it down to my leadership role as the leader of my classroom, I must remember God is in control there too.  Thinking of this particular child, I recognize that a prayer I started praying just last Thursday is exactly what will be best for both of us, both X and me.

My prayer?  Since X's behavior may not change, my reaction to the choices X makes must be altered. My guidance must come from my God as I seek to help this child.  I must take a moment and listen to that still, small voice and heed its direction.  For this child is one of God's children too.  If I truly want X to flourish in fourth grade, I have to pray for this child and how I will lead this child with Love.

We all are leaders in life.  In what area might you employ Heaven and God's guidance?


  1. WOW! I needed to read this. I do not have a well-behaved class this year and I have four firecrackers that are a true challenge. This is so helpful I might print out the prayer!

  2. I have often given my mom the message that she cannot change my dad, but she can change how she reacts to my dad. And wait, by changing how she reacts, she can possibly change his behavior. But doing the same thing only results in more hurt feeligs or feelings of frustration resulting in anger.

    That said, I will say, I've started taking time out to pray each morning after my alarm goes off, and before my feet hit the ground. This is my time to take time out to ask for patience for the day, guidance & support to be the God follower I want to be... And I'm finding being specific has helped brighten my outlook on life & I think - I'm even able to be a better mom...

    Good luck!


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