It’s been almost a year since my first day as a kindergarten teacher. I’m finally starting to feel comfortable in a class with 30 little balls of energy. I’m learning what makes these kids tick. And I’m beginning to see some of the ways in which God has gifted them.
We’ve worked with these boys and girls for months. So why did I wake up every morning last week so stinking anxious about stepping foot in our classroom?
With the arrival of Semana Santa, we’ve been emphasizing Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. God’s been pounding me with the fact that these students are more than just little people learning to count and add and write. These children have never-dying souls that will one day bow before a risen Savior. As of this moment, they’re objects of God’s wrath. Cute as they are, they deserve an eternity separated from Him.
I don’t want that reality for any of these precious ones.
Each time I opened our Bible story book last week to share another aspect of Jesus’ sacrifice for mankind, I felt tense and unsettled. I wanted to communicate perfectly in Spanish. I felt a weighty responsibility to help each child fully understand the extent of Christ’s love. I struggled with the desire to make the kids sit and listen longer so I could be sure they knew each facet of this inestimable story.
And then I remembered. I remembered how Christ called me years ago. It wasn’t forced. It was gentle and beautiful and intimate and sweet. And it took time. I didn’t rush forward the first time I heard the Gospel at church. I didn’t respond immediately to a Sunday School lesson or a camp speaker. My parents played a huge role in helping me comprehend the height and depth of the love of Christ. But in the end, it was me and Him. My Savior called. And I answered. I’ll never forget how He made Himself so real to me that night as I lay in my bed with my face buried in my pillow.
God’s been calling people to Himself for years. If He chooses to use my jumbled Spanish to impress Himself on one of these kindergartners, then to Him be the glory. But these are His stories to write – not mine. I’m not saying I’m devoid of responsibility. But I am saying that I can’t save them. Jesus is the One who gave His life. He’s the One who does the calling.