November 1, 2016
Online Journal - God's Lesson Plan
Marc Bouzy, Superintendent, Quebec Conference, Longueuil, QC

"My thoughts," says the LORD, "are not like yours, and my ways are different from yours. As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are my ways and thoughts above yours." Isaiah 55:8-9
 
In his book, Generation iY, Our Last Chance to Save Their Future, author Tim Elmore relates findings concerning young elephants which became lost, and strayed from their herd. When these elephants were examined at an older age, their behaviors had become very unlike the normal elephants because they had grown up without their herd,  and without role models. This is due to lack of guidance, and proper training (2010).
 
As teachers, we are expected to prepare students for the future; providing them guidance and instruction. Educating, teaching, and preparing future leaders to deal with problems that we ourselves have never dealt with is quite a task. Every leader will sooner or later have to face situations that former generations did not have to handle. The same goes for students. They will face life changes that were previously unknown.
 
The teachings that Moses learned from God was good, and Joshua walked with Moses, his role model, for some time. Then came the day when Moses was gone, and Joshua had to look not down to see footsteps to follow, but up to hear the word of the Lord.  He was walking in new territory. The place he was treading was different, even though he visited the country some years before. Joshua was entering into a new land, not as a servant, but as leader. He never knew he was going to be the leader until Moses heard it from God. Moses also did not know that he was training a leader in the person of Joshua. We do not know who in our classrooms will be future leaders.
 
While Moses was busy trying to understand God’s will in the wilderness, he did not perceive that he was teaching a young man the ways of the Lord (Exodus 33:11-14). While he was, to the best of his ability, trying to lead the people to the promised land, Moses had no idea that he was teaching the next leader (Exodus 17:9). What Moses left Joshua was his role modeling and, even better, the written word of the Lord (Deuteronomy 31:9, Joshua 1:6-8).
 
Another example is that of Eli and Samuel. The priest, Eli, did not know that the young boy that Anna had left with him was going to be a prophet of the Lord (1 Samuel 1:28). While we take care of the normal routine activities, we do not know God’s lesson plan for each student. We may not be satisfied with all the outcomes in the lives of the students. We may feel inadequate teaching students the ways of the Lord, because we are having a hard time following God, ourselves. However, we must recognize that God works through us in spite of ourselves. Though Eli was not known as a good father, Samuel learned from him how to recognize and respond to God’s calling (1 Samuel 3:6-9).
 
We may not understand it readily, but the best thing we can do for a student for his spiritual life is to teach him how to recognize and respond to God’s calling. To teach that requires discernment on your part as a teacher. But others may do it unknowingly. You may not succeed in influencing positively all of them, but there will be the “Joshuas” and the “Samuels” in your life that will be changed.
The values and the know-how that we can share and that generations after generations have used to maneuver across the various circumstances of life all come from the word of the Lord. So the Lord says to each of us:
 
My child, learn what I teach you and never forget what I tell you to do. Listen to what is wise and try to understand it. Yes, beg for knowledge; plead for insight. Look for it as hard as you would for silver or some hidden treasure. If you do, you will know what it means to fear the LORD and you will succeed in learning about God. It is the LORD who gives wisdom; from him come knowledge and understanding. Proverbs 2:1-6
 
“Watch yourself and watch your teaching. Keep on doing these things, because if you do, you will save both yourself and those who hear you” (1 Timothy 4:1).  At the end of the school year, hearing or reading what students say to us or about us, we find the Joshuas and the Samuels that we have influenced positively. Then, we can be happy to have been instrumental in God’s lesson plan.
 
References:
  • Elmore, Tim. Generation iY, Our Last Chance to Save Their Future, 2010.
  • The Good News Bible.