Saturday, December 1, 2007

Deciding on Being a Teacher

It is interesting being a teacher. Hard sometimes, but mostly rewarding. It can be embarrassing, too. I wax didactic because it's just the way I'm put together, and everybody groans. Or at the very least, my wife is gently, discreetly touching my elbow. That means I am talking too much again and hadn't noticed.

I never thought about being a teacher growing up. I wanted to be a pilot or an actor; movies or Broadway both seemed reasonable to me. When the Navy took me up in that plane the summer after high school (1973) and gave me the joystick, I signed up as soon as we landed; but that didn't happen. I entered college and became consumed by a fairly broken but demanding bunch of emotions that lead me into many, many foolish, dangerous or just plain stupid decisions. Among them, I quit school and that meant the Navy didn't want me anymore.

By 1979 I lived in a basement cubicle, 8 x 8 with a six foot ceiling, in a rooming house across the street from a state university. I had spent two years in college and four years wandering around the country--San Francisco, New York, Key West and places in between. I had owned first a car, then a motorcycle, followed by a ten-speed, but finished my travels either using my thumb or by Greyhound, depending on how much cash I had at any given time. I slipped into this small NC, mountain town escaping the big city life I had known and was surprised by grace! I had become a believer in Jesus, but only weeks separated me from the dunk washing my sins away and rising to new life in Him. Resisting the urges to walk on the path I had known a month prior was still my main daily occupation. I worked as a tree-planter in the western NC mountains. I'd lived twenty-four years, and the six lived on my own had left me, hmmmm, pretty much warped. I did believe Jesus was the answer; but I didn't know what I wanted to be when I grew up. One afternoon when I had the day off (can't remember why), pondering the future while having my daily punching battle with the desires of the old man, I said out loud, "God, what do I do with the rest of my life?" The absolute, split-second, next word in my brain was teacher.

I stood, walked acrossed the street to that university and inquired about transferring my records from the small two-year school in north Georgia I'd attended. It would take me five years to finish with an education degree--marriage and children kept interrupting school work, wonderful!--but now 25 years into teaching vocationally and avocationally, I understand I had something written on my heart from God.

I think this is the reason I have become a blogger. There are endless aspects of the Father I want to understand and hearing others share facilitates learning; and the few aspects I feel I understand about God, I need to share...but it will probably sound like I am teaching. Oh well.


Heather said...

Well, I am glad that you decided become a teacher. I reaped the rewards of it and have good memories from those days. I know that many other kids will say the same thing! Thanks.

Heather said...

Oops...forgot to put the "to" in there after "decided"..I guess I was nervous writing to a former teacher and all :)

postmodern redneck said...

I've never been a professional teacher, but in some ways it's part of my nature, too. I think the blogging and commenting are outlets for it as well. Actually, my college degree is in Christian Education (the trouble was, shortly after I graduated I came to the conclusion that the clergy system was not really God's plan for the church!). Over the years I've taught homeowners how to take care of parts of their homes, taught my own kids, sometimes taught in church.

ded said...

Hey Heather,

Thanks for visiting and commenting.
Thanks for your positive comments about your memories. Honestly, though, you had in my younger days and there is much I would do differently if I could with those in your group. I understood so little then about allowing the love of the Father to flow through me.

I have been so blessed by you and Ben over at your blog. Keep it up!! Especially loving those precious children of yours.

postmodern redneck,
Thanks for interacting over here. I appreciate you taking the time to visit and comment. I have often felt you have much to teach.

Terry said...

Blogging is one way to discover who you are in front of your friends and other interested parties.

God will use who you are to reveal parts of Himself in order to fulfill your desire to know Him better.

Line upon we build this thing together.

ded said...

Thanks, Terry for the encouragement. Building one another to support love and good works is a meaningful way to live!

treepoe said...

I loved reading your life synopsis. It reminded me of how in the Old Testement God had the writers summarize whole generations of Israel's history in just a few lines.
I was praying yesterday about the past two years of my life and was amazed that the long days, weeks and months of prayer and waiting on God could be summed up in so few sentences (each punctuated with thanksgiving). It encourages me when I feel like I'm stumbling along in the dark to know one day I'll look back and see that God was guiding us all along the way - the way He had chosen for us.
Thanks for sharing! - Chip