What is Teaching?

I think teaching is one of the hardest things you’ll ever do. It is often thankless and frustrating. Kids don’t usually appreciate our love and efforts in their lives. It can be lonely in a classroom when you are the adult and not part of the group. There are inside jokes you aren’t a part of, but often the brunt of. Immanuel Mission can be lonely as well. We are far from town and some need to go to town just to be in the midst of people. I have found now that I like waiting in line, being in a crowded place, and even going shopping on Black Friday is fun just to be in the jostle and mess. So those are some of the negatives but this is why I don’t quit or leave:

Teaching is one of the most valuable things you’ll ever do. It is so nice to have a job that has eternal consequences not just a paycheck as a reward, but crowns in Heaven. I know we are supposed to do everything we do to the glory of God but it is more obvious that it matters when you are dealing with a student than when you are dealing with a vacuum cleaner. Kids do learn stuff. It is kind of amazing at the end of each year when you realize that, in spite of themselves and the struggle, they know more than they did in September. They quote me; sometimes that is honoring and sometimes embarrassing. I make a difference and have significance. Selfishly, it is fun for me to be the center of attention. I like having a captive audience everyday. I bet these things are true of parenting too, but the Lord hasn’t given me that ministry. I love teaching at a Christian school where you can tell them the truth and not have to worry about being politically correct. You can call sin “sin” and you can tell people about God’s solution for it instead of using the world’s tools to mask or hide or explain away problems. I love kids and I love the Lord and I love that He lets me do what I love for Him. His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

Immanuel Mission is a great place to live. My neighbors love the Lord and love me. We are working for the same goals of godliness and love for each other. Obviously we have struggles and things to work out, but underneath everything we all want God’s best for each other. I walk to work, I walk to church, I walk to my friend’s house, to the gym, to meetings, etc. Even though groceries are 90 miles away, I know I spend less time in a car on a weekly basis than people who live in town. I don’t pay rent, I often get free clothes, I eat two meals a day that someone else pays for and cooks, my house is maintained by others that are eager to help me, and my neighbor always has a cup of coffee or sugar or whatever I forgot to get in town; or will pick it up for me when they go in the next day or two. I am safe in a gated community and surrounded by people who pray. I wish our phones worked better and I wish Kansas with my family was as close as Farmington, but I am content with the family God has given me here. As I love to say, “God is good, all the time.”

Anne Denny