The morning class (with our Young Married Women) went well, and I was looking forward to the afternoon. The Treces (our thirteen year olds) are one of my favorite groups. They are old enough to grasp some of the more abstract ideas, but still young enough to not be 'too cool' to pray out loud or participate.Oh, my. I’m not sure what happened, but they were wild, wild, wild!
I started by reviewing our discussion about the daisy and the need to have deep roots to nourish us. I showed them our flower, which has died. Why? Because I didn’t take care of it.
I showed them the pitiful sight, to demonstrate what happens to us when we do not stay rooted in Christ. Our roots is where are character grows, I told them.
Then, I started talking with them about characteristics like patience, respect and self-control. About how as they grow up, these characteristics will become more, not less, important.
As I talked, the girls interrupted me, whispered to each other, mocked me when I used incorrect words. I felt myself becoming more and more frustrated. Each time I asked the girls to listen, they stopped talking for a minute, but then immediately began whispering or making comments again.Thankfully, there were only seven of them. If all 15 had come, I don’t know what I would have done. I tried to remind myself that they came, without having to be there. And that this was a chance for me to demonstrate the love of Jesus by being patient but still firm. I did a lot of slow breathing, and was thankful that my lack of Spanish meant I couldn't have gone off on a tirade, even if I had wanted to!
I kept reminding myself that most of them don't know any better. Many of them have parents who often model the opposite of self-control, kindness, patience. Is it any wonder the Treces do the same?
It was only 90 minutes, but it felt rather longer and as they left, I have to admit to breathing a sigh of relief. I’ll be doing a lot of praying between now and next Thursday, that’s for sure!
And now, I get to go over to my friends for dinner.
Thank you, Father! You are so good to me!Thank you, Jesus, for not quitting when people were more interested in seeing You perform than in hearing Your truth. Teach me to love them as You loved me, long before I had a clue how lost and broken I was.
Thank you, Holy Spirit, for prompting Carol to invite me over for dinner tonight. You knew how much I was going to need this time of refreshment! Strengthen me for Your work, tomorrow, next week, next year.