By: Mark Lester Dondonay
And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. 1 Corinthians 9:25
As we wake up every day, challenges are already waiting to test our faith and trust in God. How do we handle different challenges of the day? There are times when suddenly, you feel like giving up because of the unexpected things that are happening. How should we react to them? When situations like these go along the way, we are discouraged to push through things and lost the enthusiasm to finish the things we started right. What do you do when you experience things that will let your spirit downto the level of despair? How can you find hope in stress and distress?
Working as a missionary teacher here Korea for almost two years made me learn things which I never learned before. I will share with you how I handle challenges in my field of work, a missionary of God in the classroom.
One is to be patient. Teaching high school, middle school and elementary students is a great challenge. I am to live in the shadow of God’s wisdom or else everything would be in vain. How would I introduce Christ to my students? They would complain and would not even do the proper way of praying. To be patient is not only to endure the bad things happening in the classroom such as students’ misbehaviors but to show them the Christian way of handling classroom problems.
Another is to be temperate. Controlling my temper makes me think of Christ and how He faced all religious critics who put Him to death. Holding temper in the class is very important. It helps me think and understand the moment a student will misbehave. It reminds me the way I was during my student life. It proves me that nagging students will only cause fear to the younger ones and unruliness to the adolescents.
How about trust? Yes, I do have learned giving my trust not only to God but to my students. I let them feel that I trust them; that they can do things which they think they could not do. In this way, they would build up self-confidence. As for me, I’m able to understand the “whys” that are creeping in my mind. These questions would just ruin my day if I won’t trust the One who allows every problem for my spiritual advancement. As Job said, “Should we only accept good things from God?”
Lastly, I have learned to tell God my concerns after undesirable things that happen in the classroom. Praying earnestly is the most comforting moment. Praying for my students is the least thing that I can do for God is the one to do great things for me. I could not change my students’ behavior toward me but God can. I take courage from Him every time my students disappoint me because of their behavior.
Patience, temperateness, trusts in God and earnest prayers are not only effective in the classroom but also in situations where someone provokes you. As you trod the way to a successful day, think of the promises of God. “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5) No matter what happens, He will always be there.