News & Events
Ever have a day like this?
Recently my wife celebrated the anniversary of her 18th birthday (but I won’t say which one). It was on a Sunday and our plan was to attend an 8:30 am church service, get home and be ready to greet family members coming in from out of town with a meal and small family party.
Our son reminds us that he is playing guitar for our church’s 11:00 service.
So we decide that my wife, daughter and I would attend at 8:30 and let our son drive himself to and from church separately. That way we’d still be back to meet our family.
Our fifth grade daughter informs us that her hand bells group would be playing for the first time this year during the 11:00 service. The same service in which our son is already playing.
So we decide that my wife and I would attend 8:30 service. Our son would drive our daughter to church for the 11:00 service. My wife would leave to greet family and I would stay to watch the kids.
My mother and sister and my in-laws decided they wanted to come watch our daughter perform.
So we decide we’ll all just go to church together at 11:00, followed by lunch out for her birthday.
My wife asks her parents to bring their very large rototiller to turn over our garden before winter. They agree, but then decide that they’ll need to come later because they can’t wear church clothes in the truck they’d use to haul the rototiller.
So we decide to attend church with my mom and sister, leave quickly to meet my in-laws back at the house before going to a different restaurant.
Feeling good that we finally have the schedule in place, we attend church to watch my daughter’s first hand bells performance in which she played a grand total of two notes.
Looking back on the day, I can say with a smile that everything worked out well and my wife had a wonderful celebration with her family. But it also served as an important reminder of the importance of flexibility. Sometimes you have to make accommodations for others, even if that takes you past plan B, C, or even Q.
As educators, we grow used to the extra work and effort that often goes into making accommodations for our students. Most of that extra work and effort is unseen and seemingly unappreciated. Or as some like to say, “Bending over backward for somebody only gives them better angles to kick you.” But for those who might think that way, I would offer two very simple reminders.
First – education should be designed to meet the needs of the student. Most teachers understand this completely and work tirelessly to make sure that the accommodations needed by their students are provided no matter how much additional work is created. If it helps the child learn, grow and succeed – it’s just another day on the job.
Second – accommodations are only frustrating if you are the one making the accommodations. If you are the one needing them, they are important and in some cases necessary. Consider this dialogue that Jesus had with a rich man as shared in Matthew 19:
Rich Man: “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”
Jesus: “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.”
And in spite of what the rich man thought, he wasn’t able to keep the commandments. Our sinful nature prohibits any of us from doing this on our own. Romans 3:23 confirms it when Paul declares: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
God provided his dearly loved creation with the ultimate accommodation plan as described in Romans 3:24-26:
“And all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.”
We give thanks to God for this amazing and unmerited gift. And with that firmly in mind, we better realize how truly insignificant the inconvenience is in relation to the resulting reward. May God continue to bless you for the work you do to guarantee the success of your students in learning more about our awesome God and His amazing world.
And maybe, just maybe, she’ll get to play more notes next time.