Friday, October 2, 2009


Recruitment Ad for Antarctic Expedition
Sir Ernest Shackleton, 1914

"When first conceived, an idea is a breakthrough; once adopted and repeated, it tends to become a cul-de-sac." Abraham Joshua Heschel

After fourteen months of unemployment, I am teaching again. Last week I wanted to quit. That, I suppose, is the life of a teacher. Like Sir Shackleton's description of an expedition, the wages tend to be small (no one becomes a teacher for the pay- you can make more money by managing a Taco Bell) with long months of complete darkness. But then it happens, the moment every true teacher yearns to see- the phenomenon known as the 'aha' moment, when the veil is parted and the light comes on. In my life, the Lord puts enough distance between the 'aha's' to keep me going (too many, too often might make me prideful).

During the summer, while still unemployed, I was visiting Hugh Gill. He looked at me and said, "You will be teaching soon, but not like you've ever taught before." He spoke prophecy over me that day. Now I am teaching with the good folk at Trinity Christian Preparatory School, or Trinity Prep for short. It is an amazing and challenging place. The old ways of teaching seem different here. Some of them don't work at all. Hugh was right. I have been praying for strategy. God is re-teaching me how to teach. Yesterday He reminded me that He made my students uniquely unique- as only He does. I cannot approach them with a 'bread' recipe, i.e., "If I follow these steps a perfect loaf will result." No, if I can teach them anything it will be to embrace their uniqueness, to explore the possibilities of what it means to be made in the image of God, the possibilities God Himself has instilled within them. The methodology then will not be learner-based or curriculum-based but God-based outcome.

There is a war being waged against our youth. The forces of darkness are building walls, attempting to erect gates around young minds. In 1986 Elie Wiesel was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his book Night. As he accepted the award he said this:
"We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere."

"This is the rock on which I will put together my church, a church so expansive with energy that not even the gates of hell will be able to keep it out. "
Matthew 16:18
The Message

Portrait of a Student
Alex Jamison

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