It's funny, it has been a crazy day, and I just knew today that I needed to take some time to write. It helps me so much when I do. I knew exactly what I wanted to write about. I had to write about the chapel lesson the Lord gave to me for last week. The reason that that is funny to me, is because I just looked at the title to my last post and it's a similar theme, but I didn't even realize it until I looked at the title just now.
Last week I was asked if I would be willing to do the first chapel of the school year for elementary. I LOVE chapel, love to do chapel, so of course I said I would be willing. But once I said that, then I had to think and pray about what I should talk about. On the way home from church Wednesday night, the Lord brought to mind something about new things, beginnings, starting, and growing. Then the neatest thing happened! He just randomly (which was of course not random for Him...just for me :) brought to mind my plants, specifically my spider plant. A couple of years ago, one of my students brought in a spider plant for me as a gift. I was so excited, I love plants and we used to have spider plants when I was growing up, so it was cool to have my own now. That spider plant has grown a lot since she gave it to me, I even have two new plants that I have grown from the one she gave me...and there are still some other small plants hanging from the original that I need to replant. But the Lord made me think of that plant and also brought a great lesson to mind thinking about that plant. Here it is:
It's a new school year, students are in new classes, with new friends, and even a new elementary teacher this year. And even some of us have new roles this year. With all the newness, it made me think of what a clean slate the beginning of a new year holds. Some students are just starting school for the first time ever, they have to learn to get up in the morning and be ready for a school day. Others are in new grades learning new things from last year. It might cross some of our minds to think, man, I wish I was back home, or back in kindergarten, or back in the previous grade where it was easier. But if that were the case we wouldn't be able to grow and learn. The Lord didn't intend for us to stay in one grade and never to learn more or grow more. He has a plan for our lives. This spider plant is a neat plant because of the leaves and how they grow, but also because from the main plant, some smaller plants also grow. (I showed them the spider plant with the smaller plants hanging from it) These smaller plants have been hanging off of my main spider plant for several months now. They have not done much. They haven't grown much, just a little, but there is not much to notice about them because they are just hanging from the main plant. They are probably comfortable just hanging, they are getting there nourishment from the main plant. The problem is, these smaller plants are not much of a help to the bigger plant because they are taking some of the nutrients and nourishment from the main plant. Plus, I know that these smaller plants can become so much more if I do something to them. What I would need to do to them, may seem cruel, and may not be pleasant for the young plant, but I know that in the end it will make the smaller plants absolutely beautiful! I need to cut the smaller plants from the main plant. Of course plants don't have feelings like we do, but when we think of things being cut, we think of pain. Sometimes in our lives this is what the Lord needs to do for us. He needs to cut us...cut us from where we are comfortable, cut us...to make us grow and be more beautiful and useful for Him. I don't like to be uncomfortable, I don't like change very much, but there are times in my life, before and now, where the Lord has had to cut me from my comfortable place. He had something more for me, and the only way that He could produce that was to cut me from where I was. These smaller plants have looked the same for months, they haven't grown much, and really are not of much value just hanging off of the larger plant. Me, being the plant caretaker, I know the best thing for me to do is to cut them off, and replant them on their own. When that happens, it's tough at first because those smaller plants have to learn to get their own nutrients from the soil, they have to learn to get used to a new place and to stand strong on their own. It's not easy at first, but then they get used to it and realize what they need to do to survive. And once that happens, they thrive in their new environment, and grow beautifully. (I then pull out of a bag one of the smaller plants that I cut from the year before that has grown beautifully into a new, vibrant, healthy plant) This is a plant that used to look just like these smaller plants, there wasn't much to it at first. When I put it in the soil, it took a bit for it to get used to it's new surroundings and new life apart from the main plant. But it did get used to it, it did survive, and it is a beautiful, thriving plant. And from this new plant, in the future it will produce some smaller plants that it will help start out until I as the planter cut them to grow on their own. We are at the start of a new school year. We have a lot of new things to learn, learning letters and how to write them and say them correctly for the first time for some...to starting to have homework for others...to learning multiplication and division, to learning about different countries, and many other things. We as teachers hope by the end of this year, you all will have grown. We expect you to grow physically...taller, maybe wider for some :). We expect you to grow academically...learning all the things you need to learn before you go on to the next grade to learn more. But more importantly than those things, we, as Christian school teachers hope and pray that you will each grow spiritually...closer to the Lord, knowing and understanding more things about Him, so you can share them, and help others to grow in Him as well. The Lord has cut us from where we were, and He is challenging us to grow in the new places He has "planted" or placed us. He wants us to learn to adjust so we can grow beautiful and healthy in Him, and for Him.
(This chapel lesson was such a lesson for me, the Lord used it to really speak to my heart as well, as I shared it with the students.)
Lord, thank you for bringing this lesson to mind when I asked You for something. And thank you for using something so simple to help teach your truths. Kindergarten all the way through Sixth grade, and even on up to us as teachers, could all relate and understand this wonderful lesson. Thank You for what You taught me as You brought these thoughts to my mind for me to use for chapel. Help me to remember this important lesson, You know this is a struggle for me, so bring me back often to the spider plant to remind me that You want to make something beautiful of me for You. I may not always like the process, but the outcome is always amazing and beautiful! Help me remember!