September 29, 2019

Sunday Devotional With Mr.E: No Excuses

Even though I had amazing training during my university experience....even though I've been teaching for a LONG time....even though I'm confident in myself as an educator....there are things I avoid teaching.  There are supplies that are extremely messy and challenging to control in the hands of young artists.  There are processes that have multiple layers that can challenge the constraints of a once a week class of 20+ students. There are things I'm just not good at ( or think I'm not good ).  I'm full of excuses for my avoidance of things in my classroom.  One of which is origami.  I have struggled in the past with creating anything through paper folding.  I convinced myself I just couldn't do it.  I also convinced myself that it would just be too challenging for my students. This made me feel better about my excuses.  Then I watched my practicum student teach an origami lesson.  I watched my students "get it", and their excitement for this form of creating.  My excuses didn't seem to hold up as well as I once convinced myself.  So the next following day I decided I would put aside my excuses, and I would try something I personally had great fear and apprehension about.  I told my students I was nervous about the project, and that we would be learning together. You know what?  It was so much fun!  The students loved it.  I loved it.  Why had I been so afraid?  It is amazing what we can't do when we convince ourselves that we are unable.  

Moses said to the Lord, "Pardon your servant, Lord.  I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue."  The Lord said to him, "Who gave human beings their mouths?  Who makes them deaf or mute?  Who gives them sight or makes them blind?  Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say."  Exodus 4: 10-12

So often we think of Moses as ....MOSES: AMAZING SERVANT OF GOD & RESCUER OF THE ISRAELITES.  However, if you were to read Exodus 3 & 4 you would see just how many times Moses tried to make excuses for why he couldn't do what God was asking of him.  I had a flannel graph image of what the Burning Bush experience was like when I was a child.  God speaks through a burning bush to Moses.  Moses says, "Yes God!" Then Moses heads off to free the Israelites.  However, this is not what happened.  Moses basically told God why he couldn't do what was being asked of him....several times over!  This makes me feel a bit better that one of the heavy hitters of scripture actually struggled with doubt.  God doesn't call the perfect (They don't exist!).  God doesn't call the pretty ok (They don't really exist either!).  No, God calls you, me, and Moses....the messed up, under qualified, and excuse makers.  It is in God & God alone that we have the ability to do what he asks of us.  He wants us to be available...not overly qualified.  He will equip.  He will empower.  He will guide.  He will be there with us no matter what.  We can not let fear of being "less" keep us from moving forward in our faith journey.  He loves us perfectly in our imperfection.  He wants to see us step out in faith & trust Him. 

Do you hold back in stepping out in faith because of doubt? Is there something in your life that you need to trust God with and stop trying to live it out in your own strength?