“Wow Wednesdays” is a discipline for me. Not like a “soap in the mouth” kind of discipline, but like a “read the Bible each day” kind of discipline. It forces me to write and it forces me to acknowledge the times my jaw has dropped during the week. I say “wow” for lots of reasons. Often it’s because humans are so stinkin weird or my nephews are so stinkin cute, but the greatest instigator of “wows” has always been our great God. Wednesdays are when I chronicle some of the odd crap I’ve witnessed but mainly the cool crap God has taught me. However, since I’m a procrastinator to the core, I typically post these on Thursdays. “Wow Thursdays” just doesn’t have the same ring to it, though.
Ten years ago I made an impulsive decision. I had planned on majoring in English but after one day in my first upper division English class, I got a mean case of writer’s block and instead of powering through it, I waltzed into my advisor’s office and announced, “I’d like to change my major to History. Can I do that?”
He said I could and the next day I had a new schedule, a new major, and a new plan for my future. God must have giggled.
Actually, I don’t picture God as the giggling type. But perhaps He chuckled. Chuckled because He knew that in a few years I would end up teaching English- teaching English at a private Christian school no less. Having been raised in the public schools, I was absolutely certain that was where God wanted me to teach. Private schools weren’t even an option for me.
“Those schools are for the Christian teachers who collect PRECIOUS MOMENTS FIGURINES and wear “What Would Jesus Do?” bracelets; for the wimpy Christians who are afraid of the hooligans in public schools and don’t have their teaching credentials.”
So, fresh out of college, I followed my plan and taught history in a public school. I was there for three years and absolutely loved it. And I have no doubt that those years were part of the “grand plan” for my life. However, in my head, that was the end of the plan. I would be a history teacher in the public schools until I retired or died. But God had other plans.
Today whenever I read Proverbs 16, I laugh at the ways I’ve seen this truth pan out in my own life. Verse 1- ” The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the LORD.” Or again in verse 9- ” The mind of man plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.” Solomon seems to be saying, “Go ahead and make your plans but hold onto them loosely, folks. You’ve got no idea what God’s got up His sleeve.”
My plans and my way seemed so wonderful; my career path was so certain and my future seemed so bright. But now I can see how my plans and my way were just that: MY plans and MY way. I had no idea that God was planning something else, something better.
Last week I had a smattering of “wow moments” that all arrived because I’m teaching English at a Christian school. They were simple moments, moments that made me smile and by themselves, aren’t a big deal. But added together, all these little moments pointed to a big God who has much better plans and much better ways than I do. They pointed to a God who’s got everything under control, even my uncertain future.
First, I got an e-mail from a kid telling me about a band I should check out because their lyrics include the word “maelstrom” which was a new vocab word that week. The fact that my students see how excited I get about vocabulary and start to share in my excitement makes me giddy inside.
Next, I assigned a project to my freshmen where they have to choose a fictional story to read outside of class. I gave a bunch of recommendations of my personal favorites and was quickly reminded that I have the same taste in books as 14 year old boys. As the class walked to the library, I led a pack of 6 boys, all of us giggling and talking excitedly about how the 4th book in the Eragon series is coming out soon. Yeah, Eragon as in the dragon-rider. Don’t knock it till you try it. Continue reading