Sunday, May 18, 2008

Thank you notes that do not require postage

I wrote a few weeks ago about the changes that have taken place for our Sunday School class.

Good changes. Great changes. Godly changes.

If you've read my blog long enough, you know I don't use the word "God" lightly. Besides, it's not just a word; it's a Name. A Holy Name.

So when I say Godly changes, I mean it. I believe it.

Through some wonderful volunteers, we have started a new system for my class. There are pre-K and Kindergarten kids in this group and if you have ever taught these ages, you know they have very different learning styles and very different attention spans. When there are just a few of them together, you can adjust your teaching method.

But when there are sometimes 18 of them together, all you can adjust is your medication.

Oddly enough, no matter what learning style or attention span they have, they all have a few things in common.

They love snack.

They love hearing about Jesus.

Snack was never an issue. My assistant and I come from the old Southern Baptist School which teaches "Thou shalt never run out of food."

That rule is right up there with "Thou shalt feed people when they are celebrating, mourning, recovering, or just breathing."

So, snack was never a challenge for us.

Telling them about Jesus in an effective way was a challenge. When you are in a small room with a dozen or so kids and several of them decide that the button to turn on their listening ears is broken, you end up talking over them and the other children get nothing out of the lesson.

Now, let me stop the bus here. The Word of God does not return void. The issue was that I don't think many of them could hear the Word of God with all of the talking and the yelling and the whining.

Okay, I didn't always whine...

This morning, I was looking forward to the lessons. Because of a new rotation system, the kids all have snack together, then they split off. The younger pre-K kids go to music and worship time and the Kindergartners stay in the room for the lesson. Then, we switch. The kids love it and it is so great to be able to talk with them in small groups and teach them on their level.

Our lesson today was on Elisha and the woman who welcomed him in her home. Our focus was supposed to be on caring for other believers, which we did discuss. We shared how we could care for others. The kids were eager to give suggestions on how to be kind.

Then, God led me down a trail...

I told the kids that we are to do for others just because. We aren't supposed to expect anything in return- not even a thank you, although that would be nice. Many times the person will never say thank you. Many times we think no one notices.

God notices. He sees. He will reward us in heaven, but that isn't all. He will also reward us here on earth. God always notices when we are doing the right thing and He will show us in some way- through a nice surprise or maybe the kindness of others.

Of course, they wanted to know "how." I love questions. It shows me they are paying attention.

There are so many times in my life when I have seen this happen. I shared one of the stories with the class. And now I'll share it with you...

A few months ago my daughter and I were at the dollar store, waiting in line at the register. The man ahead of me paid for his purchase, then started to walk away. As he did, he dropped a twenty dollar bill.

I quickly picked it up and said,"Excuse me, sir. You dropped this."

He took the money and said,"Oh, you're an honest person. I would have kept it."

He walked away and the cashier turned to me and commented,"I could never keep it. That's bad karma."

"That's God." I said, "I don't believe in Karma but I believe in doing the right thing."

(I didn't tell the kids the karma part. They are in kindergarten. But I did tell them what the man said and that I shared with the cashier that I wanted to do what God would want.)

The next day I was leaving Wal-mart with a cart full of bags. Unknown to me, a bag fell out of the kid seat as I walked through the parking lot.

A lady ran up to me, picked up the bag and said,"Excuse me, m'am. You dropped this."

"Thank you," I said.

For the most part, I think the Kindergartners got it. Although, one very smart girl in the class wanted to know how a bag could fall out of my cart without me knowing about it.

We shared a lot more after that about doing the right thing.

Being good when no one is looking.

Being kind just because.

Because God is looking and He knows when we are being good or kind or whatever it is we are supposed to be.

And He always says thank you.


PJ said...

What fun!! It is rewarding to be able to teach young children and KNOW that they GOT it!! God bless you.

Shannon@Idylwild said...

Teaching little ones is a wonderful calling and, on behalf of those children's parents, I'd like to thank you. It's obvious that you care about them and that's all a mama really wants when dropping their little ones off for Sunday School. My little ones are actually the only ones in the children's Sunday School at our church so I'm envying you, just a bit, having so may to work with! :)

Linda said...

God is using you so much.