Words of true wisdom remain as refreshing as ever

Published 12:06 am Saturday, April 2, 2016

Whether or not Adeline, or her mother or the school is ready, next year my granddaughter will put on a uniform and a backpack and enter the classroom.

I have no idea who the teacher will be, I don’t even know which school she will attend, but I’ve already been praying for the person who will guide Adeline in the 4-year-old program.

Sweet memories of my own teaching days abound. Around this time of year, I would order a butterfly kit complete with a cup of live caterpillars.

The students and I marveled as we watched the caterpillars spin their cocoons, then emerge as butterflies.

One day, to prepare the class for the experience, I showed a movie that beautifully captured the life of a caterpillar and its transformation into a butterfly.

As soon as the movie ended, one student turned to me and asked, “Mrs. Michel, is that really how it happens?” In that moment, I realized my responsibility as a teacher more clearly than ever before. I understood the gravity of my words and how dependent these children were on me to tell them the truth.

If I had stood up and announced to the class that the movie was wrong and that I was the person who made all of the butterflies, they would have believed me.

Scanning the classroom, I saw that all of those little faces were waiting for my reply. “Yes, that’s exactly how God makes butterflies,” I said as I smiled and silently prayed that I would always be worthy of these precious children’s trust.

In one capacity or another, we are all teachers. Whether we teach those young in age or young in faith, we have the incredible responsibility of speaking God’s truth into people’s lives. And I so firmly believe that we should also be ready to encourage, affirm, and help them to see God’s vision for their lives.

The New Living translation of Proverbs 18:4 declares, “A person’s words can be life-giving water; words of true wisdom are as refreshing as a bubbling brook.”

Ronny Michel may be reached at rmichel@rtconline.com.