It’s That Time

18 August 2023
Sr. Cheryl Rose

It’s That Time

The stores are filled with back-to-school supplies.  The first stray, colored leaves are starting to appear on the grass and sidewalks. And everything announces that students are busy wrapping up their summer break and gearing up for another school year, entering a new class, a new grade, with new lessons awaiting.

There is in each of us that “back to school” programming, and we may find ourselves nostalgically walking down the aisles looking at all the array of cool pens, and ergonomic pencils, and mega boxes of    crayons!  We’re lifelong students, and the lessons keep coming in classrooms we’ve never entered before.  As the complexities of life increase, our curriculum of learning may include courses we’re sure we never chose.  So many surprises on the journey of life!

Today I’m pondering the role of a good teacher. I can’t help seeing Jesus as the Rabbi, “teacher”, that He was!  There have been many different teachers in each of our careers as a student—some memorable, but for very different reasons. There was perhaps the teacher who “ran a tight ship” in their classroom.

Order, discipline, no excuses.  The rules were stressed, clear from the start—no excuses for infractions.

A rigid teacher keeps order by fear of consequences.  When I see Jesus the Teacher, compelling, life- changing, I see a teacher who led by inspiration, not fear of punishment. It’s clear that Jesus touched the hearts of His “students”, meeting them with compassion, understanding of who they were, and belief in their desire to grow.

I’m riveted by His “classroom” style—that made His students hang on every word, softening their hearts and opening their minds to see things differently. I’m focused on a style that began with acceptance and led to conversion.  I see a Teacher who didn’t start with “the rules”—but engaged His students, teaching them what they needed to know, hungered to hear…freeing them from what blinded and crippled them.  Because HE believed in them, they might come to believe in themselves.  He rarely used the word “don’t.”  He INVITED them –to live fully, to live MORE.  He stirred them, drew them, inspired them.  And they followed.

As we think about our own learning process in the school of life…as we ponder with gratitude our true Teacher, let us also consider “What kind of student will I be this year?