Over the course of my teaching career I have been blessed with many leaders, guides, and mentors. They have all made an impression on me. At times I have wondered why these amazing people have given some of the assignments to the staffs on which I have served.
When I taught in Western New York, I worked with a wonderful principal, for one year. He often handed out "strange assignments" during our faculty meetings.
He would say one day next week I'm going to assign you to a random classroom without any warning, or for one day you must teach without any text books, worksheets, or support materials. He would pick the day and tell us on that day. We would have to be prepared to work in either a setting we had to adapt to/or an unfamiliar setting. Needless to say, many on the staff grumbled when he would do this.
The questions and statements always came up "Why? We're experienced teachers, we don't need these kinds of exercises!"
Our principal was training us for a path we might have to walk someday.
He was right, we would face experiences where we had to think on our feet, where we wouldn't always be prepared and have the best, near-best, or even close the to best of everything.
Over the years, I've often thanked the LORD for this mentor, as he taught me not only how to work in extreme settings, like we've had these past couple of weeks, but he taught me what the Bible Parable about the "Ten Virgins", Matthew 25:1-13, is about. Yogi Helming (no relation, different spelling) taught us how to always be prepared.
He taught us that in our calling as church workers we must be prepared, that we don't know what the day, or hour might bring. He taught us that we must be prepared to give an account in and of our faith. He taught us that we can not build up our faith for another. He taught us we must lead by example. He taught that our being prepared will lead others to be prepared.
Shortly after I left Martin Luther Christian School in Western NY Yogi contracted cancer. He led in this area too, by his faith. He faced this disease with strength and dignity. He knew his LORD and Savior. There was no doubt when he passed from this world into the next, that the next world was that where his Savior & our Savior, Jesus is. I know that Yogi is there. I know because he was one whose lamp was full.
What are you being trained for? What are you being challenged to do? Where will it lead you? Where will it lead your children? Let the LORD guide you.
Vicki Helmling is a teacher at Grace English Lutheran School