One of the ways I try to give back is by teaching Sunday school in our church. It’s not easy teaching 7-9 year olds. They have their own opinions and they’re not afraid to share it. And in a lot of ways they’re like sharks, they can smell fear and they won’t hesitate to take advantage of it to their own ends.
Regardless of the challenges I face, I actually enjoy teaching these kids. Over the past few months that I’ve been teaching them, some of them have grown to like me, some of have grown to trust me, most of them at least respect me as their teacher.
But the thing I probably like the most about teaching Sunday school is going back to the basics of what’s the right thing to do. Last Sunday, the lesson was about loving your enemies; specifically Matthew 5: 44-45
44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
At first glance, it’s an easy lesson to teach. Don’t fight back. Be nice to people who are mean to you. It would have been easy to give these kids lip service. But when I got this lesson, I realized it would have been soooo easy to just talk about it without applying it to real life. I could have easily gotten away with it. The kids don’t have to know. But I know my conscience wouldn’t let me. My faith wouldn’t let me. I became a Christian because I wanted my child to have these values. What kind of parent would I be if I can’t apply these values myself?
I had to remind myself of this verse several times this week just to get through all the pain. I saw my reputation being torn to shreds in public. I saw my ideas, my hard work being blatantly stolen in front of me without any shame or remorse. I just take comfort in the fact that God has a higher purpose for this and that he’s teaching me a lesson to help me become a better person, better teacher, and a better parent. I realize that once you have faith and you believe in God, you don’t need the satisfaction of seeing karma at work. Not that I don’t want to see karma at work but I don’t need it. Letting go and moving on to better things; it’s better than any rush karma can give.