My oldest daughter Angelina is starting her last nursing school stretch; she is currently doing her clinical hours, and watching her go through this experience has been a blessing. As we talked one day, she made a statement that weighed heavy on me, she said, “I am not even sure I want to be a nurse, or if I am just doing it because my mom wanted me to be one, I always thought about being a teacher.” As her dad and a teacher, this weighed immensely on my mind. I encouraged her to seek the Lord in prayer and follow His plans, not the ones we, as her parents, want for her.
I always started off wanting to be a doctor, and never for the right reasons; it was about wanting to have a profession of secular status and make money. Little did I know it would be an enlightening experience one day when our college football team would take a long trip home from a loss feeling like our lives were just horrible. I share this story because it would be this experience that God would use to change my life forever. Our coach had some of us meet at a school called A Harry Moore across the street from our University. This school was a school for all the students in the local public-school districts that could not provide adequate programs for their disabled population. Looking back, I can see how the Lord used this opportunity to impact and redirect my path forever. This experience helped to show us how happy these students were despite their conditions. As I engaged with students, I was fortunate to sit in on a gym class. I had no teaching experience and never worked with such a population, but here I was getting ready to watch six (6) fifth-grade students in wheelchairs play basketball, and it was a feeling that words often cannot describe. It was at that moment where I understood there was a different calling for my life.
I say all that to bring it to this point; I explained to Angelina why I love teaching. There are some good days and better days, but I do not have bad days. Day after day and year after year, I still get a new experience, new students to impact and develop meaningful relationships. Each day is a new adventure and brings about the ability to create change, which I embrace when it presents itself. My career is something that I am blessed to have and something that I praise the Lord for giving me the privilege to serve Him in. The Lord has used this path to teach me so much, including in my walk with Him.
As a Special Education teacher for over the last sixteen years, I have had the opportunity to teach various lessons. I have taught each subject, and I would say my favorite class to teach is on density. Density is the amount of mass per unit of volume. I love density because it is a characteristic trait of a substance, meaning that each substance has its unique density. It does not matter how big or little of a piece of the substance you take; the density is always the same. The activity we do with the students gives them several objects that they do not know what they are; this is often called the Mystery Object activity. I usually provide the students with the volume when we first start, especially if it is an irregular object; however, they have to find the given item’s mass on their triple beam balance. The students will often come to me and say, “this object’s density is not on the chart to identify,” knowing that it is, I will tell them your mass must be off, is your scale balanced. What tends to happen is that their triple beam is slightly off, and it needs to be recalibrated. Recalibrating allows it to be set at zero so it is evenly balanced. It gives an accurate reading when balancing the object, allowing them to determine the mass needed to identify the proper density, which will pinpoint what substance it is.
When thinking about this lesson, the Holy Spirit just spoke to my heart. The conviction set in on how often I need a recalibration in my walk with Christ. It has come to my attention that I am more than often tested in my walk, and my characteristic trait should always come back as a Christian. I should not have to announce to people that I am a Christian but that the characteristic traits and fruit I bear will make that statement. It is often easy for me to handle these tests when my life is going smooth, but what is the spiritual fruit I bear most often when tested during trials. Plain and simple when I am tested during the highs and lows; I question how my characteristic traits would come back; if they were to be located on the so-called chart, would I be identified as a Christian?
Well, this is where the Lord took me on this journey as I began to think about this. The scripture is clear on what are the defining characteristic traits that I should be displaying should display throughout my walk, Galatians 5:22-23 “22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!”
I understand that I have seasons and times where I fall short, but much like my students, I have to go back and recalibrate. I need to recalibrate myself which can only be done through God’s word. I heard something so profound; it is easy in thought to move from the gospels, and believe I am ready to move into deeper doctrine or parts of the Bible. However, when in actuality, the gospels are always the core of my walk and the central point where I must continuously recalibrate myself.
I was in a marriage study through a ministry, Fierce Marriage, which I am sure I have mentioned before; I heard this information, “the truth is that Jesus not only shows us by example how to love and live but leaves us the fuel to do it.” It is incredible to know that we do not have to do this independently, but through the power of the Holy Spirit which continuously fuels us to carry this out. I do not know about anyone else, but often, I realize how much more I need to call out to the Father and ask to be refilled. It has taken me many years of knowing Jesus, unfortunately, but not walking with Him to come to an understanding of this, John 15: 4 “4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.” A.W. Tozer put it like this; a scribe recorded information that he heard second hand. This is unlike a prophet who spoke the word that he heard from the Lord himself. When it comes to remaining in and abiding in Jesus, I understand that it only comes from having a personal relationship with Jesus and not just hearing about Him from other people.
So I ask, is your walk balanced lately or in need of recalibration?