Monday, December 15, 2008

Bitter-Sweet Endings/Beginnings

I find it so very interesting the things that will catch children's attention and hold it. The odd moments that they sit staring, waiting for more, wanting to learn. Actually, it's not really me they are listening to, I'm sure it's the spirit, but they are ready, willing, and able. Why now I ask myself. What did we do differently today to invite the spirit to our little primary class of 6 year-olds? Was it the opening prayer? The presence of another adult? Did they all have a good healthy breakfast? Will their squirminess ever stop? How can they hear while they are upside down and flipping out the back side of their chair? (OK, it's not that bad!) Did he really give that insightful answer? Did she really just speak up?

As we look at the calendar and recognize that there are only 2 weeks left in this year, I find myself approaching it with a bitter-sweet attitude. It is mostly sweet because I love change and am totally looking forward to a new class, new faces, new challenges, sweet girls, and silly Justin S.! Once again, Bill (and Justin) will be outnumbered by a large group of ladies since the upcoming CTR 6 class is primarily girls. Oh what fun. Once again, I will be humbled as I look into the eyes of our children and realize that they probably know more than we do. We'll have the bishop's daughter, the Whitmer's daughter, the EQ President's daughter, the Sauer kid... all families doing so much more to teach their kids about the gospel in their home than we could ever do at church. This is why the Lord created the word humble, for times like these when you don't want to feel stupid! This is also the way the Lord intended children to learn... first at home, then reinforced by their primary teachers.

The bitter part of this new year comes as we have to say good-bye to the sweet children we've been teaching all year. This year's class is the same kind of intimidating group of youngsters: the (former) bishopric's son, EQ counselor's and super-mom's daughter, Jacob the brave, the Davis kid... all families that I could pop in on at any given time and probably find a lesson of the gospel being taught in the home through no formal scripture reading or FHE lesson, just incorporated into their daily life. Sure we had our rough moments, but as I taught the lesson this week I could see the spirit in their eyes. They watched in wonder as we discussed the Second Coming of Jesus. They answered every question with hope for their future. They asked excitedly if Jesus would come to Arizona. Oh, how we will miss these children and their families. I know, I know, nobody is going anywhere, BUT we will have new kids under our stewardship. New families to get to know. New challenges to face.

I was supposed to go to the Randolph center this Sunday with the youth. I forgot. Plain and simple, it completely slipped my mind. But I know that I was supposed to be in our ward Sunday so I'm not going to feel guilty about it. I know because I was able to welcome a hesitant child to class. I know because I was able to visit with some friends. I know because I was able to comfort a baby. I know because of the following few lines from the lesson that I taught:

"...when Jesus Christ lived on the earth he had friends who loved him very much. These friends followed him and listened to his teachings. Because they did what he taught them to do, they were called his disciples... Jesus loved his disciples. He helped them learn what they needed to do to live with him and Heavenly Father again. He helped them understand the difference between right and wrong so they could choose the right."

Yep, I'm a CTR 6 and I learn more and more each day. It will probably take me 3-5 years as a teacher in this class to learn all the lessons, but I will keep plugging away. I thought this post was going to be all about the kids (which it mostly is). Yesterday, during class, I read it word for word to the class and I was touched by the realization that these sweet 6 year-olds are my friends, I love them, and I learn from them each and every Sunday. Today, as I type in that quote I realize how we are all disciples of Christ helping each other understand the difference between right and wrong. Thank you, dear friends, for helping me Choose the Right!


April said...

Well said. Ryan and I taught CTR 6's. I think it is my favorite primary class to teach. They are young enough to be learning new things and old enough to understand gospel topics. I still miss Eddie Krzymowski; he was one of my 6's. I'm sure you will love your next class just as much. I mean come on, it's my kid and he's fabulous!

btg said...

It's good to know we can hold Justin to a higher standard that the rest of the kids...Thank you for your permission!

Sara said...

Bittersweet for us, too! Don't know who that supermom is...

Crystal said...

I want to be a 6 year old so I can go to your class. How awesome to feel the spirit that strong and for those children to be there and feel it in your presence. I love moments like that.