I taught the women’s sunday school class last week at church. I shared this with them before the lesson, and I thought I would share it here. God taught me some amazing things that week while I prepared for the lesson. I will admit that I was a little afraid that it might come across the wrong way, but I don’t know how else to explain it, so I’ll just hope I make sense, even though it will be a little long.
I don’t normally teach that class; this was the first time, actually. You might think I’m a little crazy for taking that on right now, and you’re 100% correct. But it was worth it. The person teaching it needed a sub, so I volunteered to take her next lesson for her. I say “volunteered” but there was a little more to it than that…It was one of those situations where I clearly felt the Lord leading me to do it, even though I argued with Him a little bit. I felt like there was no way I could find enough time to do the prep work needed to teach, and I kept thinking “Lord, you’ve got to be kidding me! Are you aware I have two little babies who don’t leave me much time for anything else? I’d be crazy to take this on!” But that little prodding was still there on my heart. I figured I’d rather be crazy and obedient than logical and disobedient. I also figured that if the Lord was going to tell me to teach, He would provide me with the prep time.
I woke up Monday morning with the plans to get all of my prep work knocked out that day, if possible. I figured I could work solidly through their morning and afternoon naps (who cares about housework and dinner, right?) then finish up after they went to bed. That was the plan.
The boys, however, woke up with different plans. They got up Monday morning and decided that naps are overrated, so they just weren’t going to take them anymore. So instead of a couple of peaceful naptimes to work, I had an entire day of overtired, fussy babies. Every time I sat down to work, I’d get about 15-20 minutes in, and something would happen and I would have to get up.
This went on for a solid week.
I’ve heard there’s some sort of four-month funk that really screws up sleeping/napping schedules, and I think we hit it right on schedule. Thankfully, their nighttime sleep hasnt been affected thus far, but naps have been all over the place. And of course, it happens just when I needed some good solid naps in order to get some work done. Perfect timing (:
After the first day, I thought “Alright Lord, I am just trusting that if you want me to get this done, you’ll give me a good block of time so I can do it. I’m not going to get stressed out.” So I just kept my Bible, my books, and my notes out on the table, and I just sat down and worked for a few minutes here and there, whenever I got the chance…usually 8 or 9 times a day, just for a few minutes. I never did get a big block of time to work. I probably never got more than maybe 25 minutes at a time, and usually not even that much. But that ended up being perfect.
I realized after a couple of days that the Lord was teaching me something completely different than I thought. He hadn’t called me to teach that lesson because He was going to blow them away with an incredible message from me, or because he wanted me to get some more practice teaching for the future, or because I had some ability he wanted to use. I have no doubt that the reason he wanted me to teach that lesson is because he wanted me to have to prepare for it, little by little, piece by piece, in the midst of crying fussy babies and a screwed up routine. He wanted me to depend on him for it.
If I’d had a big solid block of prep time, I would not have been going back to the Word 8 or 9 times a day. I would not have had multiple opportunities to hold a baby on one knee and my Bible on the other. I would not have had the benefit of spending a whole week pouring over the lesson instead of just a few hours on Monday.
Despite the fact that it was a long week as far as the boys were concerned, I was in a great mood all week long. I was so refreshed every day, because every single day was spent with little bits of God’s Word all day long. If I had not been teaching that lesson and didn’t have motivation and a deadline, I would have spent my extra time on facebook, checking my email, watching tv, or some other useless time waster. None of that would have given me any refreshment or rest, and I would have been exhausted from caring for fussy babies at the end of the day. Instead, my few moments of quiet were sweet and worthwhile, and I went to bed at night thinking “that was a great day with my babies and the Lord!”
So by the end of the week, the Lord had taught me two very important things: First, my life is so much sweeter and richer when it is punctuated ALL DAY LONG with his Word. There is no other substitute for it. So even though I know that I am not going to continue to sit down and study 8 or 9 times a day (I have a hard enough time doing it once a day), it did motivate me to use the little times I’ve got throughout the day for something more worthwhile than facebook or Tivo. It also made me think twice about feeling that if I don’t have a good 45 minutes or so to spend in the Word, I’ll just have to skip it that day. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.
Second, I shouldn’t use my busyness (or is it busy-ness?) as an excuse, because who knows when God wants to teach me something THROUGH my busyness. This lesson would have gone totally unlearned if I’d had days that were smooth and interruption-free. I just need to make sure that the things I’m busy with are things that are pleasing to the Lord and enhance my relationship with Him and others, rather than detracting from it. My busy schedule or routine is no excuse to tell God no!
I don’t know when I will teach Sunday School again. I’m not quite ready to take on a full series or anything! But hopefully when and if God tells me to do it again, I won’t put up a fight!