Tuesday, March 20, 2012

To an Audience of One

...know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. Psalm 46:10

I have a very demanding job. Daily, I diligently prepare science lessons. Each year I read and reread material I have already mastered, but each year I am certain that I will pick up some new information that will add value. Each day, as I prepare to deliver my well-read, well-planned out lesson, I stand in front of disengaged teenagers who are more interested in how their friends perceive their hair and make-up, what is in the lunch box, or whether or not they are "liked" by the opposite gender. What matters to these students is what happens before and after the classroom. Honestly, I wonder why I even expend the energy and time trying to understand and explain cellular respiration to freshman biology students, or any other biological concept. I get frustrated and wonder why I am the only one reading the material, when in reality they are the ones who need to read the text. I have my diploma. They do not. It is in these trying moments that I reminded that when I feel this frustration I am living with misplaced expectations. 

The question I need to ask each day is, "When it's all over, what is really going to matter?" Will it really matter whether or not my biology students were impressed that I came prepared each day? Will it matter if students, administration, colleagues, or parents approved or disapproved of me?  Will being able to explain plant anatomy and physiology really matter? The simple answer is no. All that will matter is whether or not I have lived in a manner that pleases my Lord. He alone is the audience I must live to capture. My favorite author and Bible teacher Kay Author writes, "When our expectations are in anything or in anyone other than in pleasing Him, we will know only distress, defeat, disappointment....and failure...."

So what does this revelation have to teach me? I am to live for the audience of one. I am to capture His heart, attention, and approval. When I do this, I will care about the things and people He cares about and loves. I will spend less time rereading science facts I have mastered, and spend time learning about the lives of my students. I will not notice students' lack of interest in biology, but will notice what captures their hearts and minds and join them at their daily entry point. Perhaps when I can convey that they are loved, because the King of the universe loves them, then maybe they will want to understand the creation He has designed. When I live for the audience of one, then I am free of living in the bondage of expectation. When living for Christ is my only focus, then I will live worthy in a manner of His calling. Today, making living to an audience of one your only goal. 

Father, I admit I have lost my focus. I have been serving the expectations of myself and others. Today, help me to live for you and you alone. Redirect my attention to Your Word and Your love. In You alone I find my rest. Blessings and honor belong to You. In Christ I pray. Amen  

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