... life would be easy! Or something like that. Sigh... weekends fly by so fast, and Sunday night rolls around and I'm staring into the maw of a week with 170 turbulent 8th graders. I hate that I'm starting to dread the start of the week... I want to love my job, and I do in many aspects, but a few difficult children are all I can think of (instead of the many great kids). I hate conflict so much that it becomes larger than life in my mind, and the people that precipitate it become my mental enemies. When I catch myself wishing certain students would move away, or get expelled, just so my life would be easier, I know my perspective has gotten off.
We've been studying Ephesians at church too, with its exhortations to be renewed in mind and walking in the Spirit, putting away sin and evil. Today Tom the youth pastor asked the question, 'Have you been angry at someone and not dealt with it?' I raised my hand, because I realized that I had anger centered at someone there in the room- a senior girl, who has the maturity of a jr higher and does almost nothing but disrupt, make sarcastic comments to others, and try to look like she's cooler than everyone else. I've been trying to figure out for a while why this particular girl makes me so angry, and I think part of it is that I react to her as a teacher as well as a youth group mentor (she was in my small group last year and made it almost impossible to keep on a topic for more than 2 minutes). She's just like the kids that I fight with every day to pay attention, stop talking, respect the speaker, etc, etc. In both cases the thing that makes my blood boil is the fact that they're not being NICE. If there's anything that's cut in stone in my personality, it's wanting to be nice to people and not cause intentional hurt. Almost the only time I actually want to hurt another person is when they're hurting someone else. What's the perspective I should have on this? How should my mind be renewed so that I can love even those people who are disrespectful to others? I know part of that is that Jesus would see these kids as His irreplacable, supremely valuable creation- He died for each of these teens and His heart breaks when they don't come to Him. I can see that for a flash, but when I try to keep that perspective, it fades away like mist and leaves me with my usual anger and resentment towards them.
Well, there's my prayer theme for a few days at least. :-)