"for He satisfies the hungry and fills the thirsty with good things."


Melissa-cholism # 2 || Teaching Reflections

July breezed by so fast without me even stopping a second for a spiritual birthday dance. So here's a late nod to that.

Training some college students in an early teaching assignment way back in, so it says, 2008.
If I had discovered any gift which has been maximally used in the minisitry, I would have to say it is teaching. Eight years ago I would not have imagined myself teaching before a class of spiritual leaders-in-training, but yes, God has set me at it for quite some time now. It has been a great privilege today, as much as it had been my first time ever. As my Pastor would say, "There is no ministry like teaching ministry." It has been an up-and-down journey, of course, and I know God isn't even halfway done with me in this area.

So. What part do like least when teaching?

The moment just before I am called up to teach. That is always the time when all my fears and hesitations escalated to crazy levels that I almost always want to run away. No amount of comprehensive script-making or timed practices or silent, desperate prayers have been able to remove that feeling (and, oh, how I've alternated between seasons of obsessive preparations and impromptu speaking for all sorts of reasons both edifying and otherwise). Thankfully, I was never off the edge enough to disappear at the very last moment. You just had to find the courage to go ahead and get out there. Or if there wasn't courage to be found, grace was sufficient. Always.

And what part do I love most?

I just recently realized this: almost always when I talk to large and small groups alike, there is a moment when I run out of written script but something still had to be said. There wouldn't be a lull unlike when I got lost in my script and had to find my way back. Instead, I would close my notes and go on  talking as if I knew my business like I've memorized it. Most of the time I surprise myself with what came out of my own mouth. In a most pleasant way. And I would know then that God would speak His message, unbound by script or mortal cognition. 

In a melancholy way, I never think of myself as a good teacher. I always fret that I haven't expressed my ideas well enough or, when people tap my back in approval, I would wonder if that was God's message I brought through and not my own. But, thankfully, through the years God has taught me this one: Teaching, like all else, should be an exercise in faith. I do my job and God does His. Whether I was lousy or great does not even matter. God is consistent at bringing His voice through to the heart of the seeker, the learner, the eager disciple.

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