Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Peace in the Classroom

It’s easier to speak about peace during the summer months when most teachers are off, but I’m wondering how you display peace in the classroom. Isa. 48:18 – “Oh that you had paid attention to my commandments! Then your peace would have been like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea;” I love to be at the water’s edge to prayerwalk, but most often I go to the ocean when possible. This picture above is the St. Johns River in Clay County Florida, which to me represents peace. To have peace like a river is to be smooth and inviting. Others are attracted to that kind of peace and often wonder how they can have it to.  It’s supernatural. it’s not man-made. On that particular day, I remember how delightful it was to take in the smoothness and quiet of the river when a family of manatees suddenly broke the surface.  They, too, knew this time of day and the peace of the river was inviting.
            Peace in the classroom is a supernatural state. How do we display the fruit of peace and be smooth and inviting to our students and colleagues? The answer truly is a gift from God. In John 14:27Peace I leave you; My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. When Jesus left the earth, He gave us the Holy Spirit to be our peace. As a Christian in the public schools, there is no door or barrier that excludes the Holy Spirit. He is with you in every moment and in every place you go. We must learn to ask God for that peace that surpasses all understanding.  Since peace is not a natural component of the everyday classroom, how can we seek peace as a gift to those we are in contact each day?
            The first and most important step is to begin the day peacefully.  If your habit is to jump into the shower or dash to the computer or device as soon as you get up, consider reading the Word FIRST. If it seems impossible because you start far too early, purposely waking up 15 min. earlier (and going to bed 15 min. earlier) for the express purpose of adding 15 minutes of being in the Word will begin to place purposeful improvement into any hectic life. Second, try to memorize just a few scripture relating to peace so that when you find yourself in the craziness of the day, repeating the Word in your head is a blessing of peace to a weary soul. Third, practice saying nice things to others.  Go out of your way to greet people. Make every effort to ask others how their day is going. Look for ways to compliment (especially when you don’t feel like it.) God has designed us to be givers. It is not just a monetary act. We can be givers of our time, our talents, our energies, our word and be a gift of peace.
            Finally, others notice when you are in a peaceful state amidst a chaotic setting. It is often the opportunity to share Jesus’s love with our colleagues when they ask why we are so calm.  Just like a river so smooth and inviting is a Christian educator in a classroom of peace. It’s not by our efforts only that we can be peaceful, but by the enabling of God’s power through the gift of the Holy Spirit. Peace.

Prayerfully yours,

Note: To more fully understand the 16-9 Movement, please read the first blog entry by clicking here.

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