July 08, 2018

Sunday Morning Devotional With Mr.E: SUPPORT

In the summer of 1997, I was one of 80 art teachers hired when Nashville made it mandatory to have an art teacher in every elementary school in the city.  A majority of the teachers were not from the area, and left friends & family in order to begin their career.  There were many of those hired that were not certified.  They were artists teaching on a temporary license (with the intention of obtaining their certification).  Most found themselves the only art teachers at their schools.  Feelings of isolation, loneliness, and being unsupported led many to leave their positions at the end of the first & second year (30 yr 1 & 20 yr 2).  It wasn't until teachers began feeling connected/supported that the retention rate stabilized. Education is best in community.  We were never meant to go it alone.  Art educators often work in isolation in their individual schools.  That need to develop a support system around you is incredibly important for the success, longevity, and enjoyment of one's career.  Support is more than just cheering each other on.......it is about encouraging one another to grow, calling out things that are questionable, and sharing our strengths(to meet the weaknesses we all possess). 

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you.  We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way; bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God. Colossians 1:9-10

The Christian life can not be lived in isolation.  We were never designed to go it alone.  Too often we feel that fellowship, accountability, and support are not necessary.  I've heard many make the statement, "I don't have to go to church to believe in God!"  While this is technically true, it misses the heart of God's message to us.  The Bible is about relationships.  God's relationship to us, our relationship to God, our relationship to each other, our relationship to the world around us.........does this sound like we can do it all by ourselves?  We see in Paul's letter to the Colossians that he desired to pray for them as soon as he heard about them.  He wanted for them a life that honored God.  He desired that their life was fruitful.  He wanted them to continue to grow in their knowledge of God.  Paul did not say..."Well now you know God...keep that to yourself and don't talk to anybody about it." , yet many people treat faith in this way.  They isolate their relationship with God from the family of God.  We may be dysfunctional at best, but God gave us this family of believers to encourage, challenge, and support one another as we grow in faith.  

1 comment:

  1. Without a doubt! We grow in community with each other, whether as teachers or in small groups focused on faith or parenting or healing and recovery. Being heard and shared experiences are essential to living a full life. Yes teaching art or music can be an isolated job.