My dad used to say
That teaching was a wonderful profession because of the lives you could touch. I don’t doubt that teachers change lives—they do—but sometimes I have wondered if the touch lives aspect is a bit overstated. Most of my classes and interactions with students are professional and subject related. I try to be available to all of my students-but I’m not sure the degree that my caring is seen or understood—muchless seeps in. I think about these things as my career draws to a close. It’s not fully over for me—but the end is in sight.
Yesterday, a young woman from this semester’s came in to my office to record an interview for the Talon—our newspaper. I asked her how things were going and my usual question, Is life good? She looked sad and was slow to reply and I instinctively said, Is there something you need to talk about? I’m here for you.
That simple question started a flood of tears and before long I was listening to her side about a few problems she was facing. I listened and tried to be encouraging. After she left, I though about all of the times I’ve had conversations like this—at least a hundred times—maybe more—over the years.
Suddenly, a thought entered into my head that I believe was nothing more than the grace of the God I love. It was related to Jesus words,
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
A Simple Truth
The thought that entered my mind was this: My students are my treasures in heaven! I was reminded that what matters most is whether I try to make a whatever difference to those I come into contact with each day. I may not meet thousands of people each day—but I will meet (and I have met) thousands of people over the course of my life.
My students, my family, the men in my support group, the people in my church, and my wellbeing are my treasures in heaven. Any kindness I show to my friends, the poor, the earth or those I barely know are also small but important treasures. Each day is an opportunity to lay up a new treasure in heaven. Over time, treasures mount up. All of us can be very rich indeed.