Prepared For Everyday
Around the holidays we seem to live for the big day. The big party, the big gift, the big meal, and the real biggie (at least to our children)—Christmas morning.
I’m all about the big events of life. One of my strengths is to take a thought and build it into something big like a special occasion meal for my family, a blog post or article, a gathering of friends, a creative contribution or an over-the-top presentation.
But, it is also one of my weaknesses. I can create myself into a world of stress, inflexibility, unrealistic expectations and unbalanced emotions.
Even without this weakness, the focus on the big event brings it’s own letdown. My friend bemoaned a lesson she taught at church. The months she had to prepare for it gave her too much time to worry over her preparations, she said.
I’ve been there. I love the build up to such events, but I hate the let-down that inevitability follows.
I teach, too. But instead of presenting something every few months, as I have in the past, I now teach five days per week. The repetitive nature shapes my teaching in a new way. I prepare, but I’m less focused on the before and after, and I’m more focused on the teaching time itself.
This week, I went to teach my 6:45 a.m. class completely unprepared. Or so I thought. I knew the material (Luke 24). I’d studied it. I’d made a lesson plan. Despite this, my outward preparation fell apart. I couldn’t find the picture for my visual. At our just-before-we-go-out-the-door family prayer, I remembered I needed the magazines that were beside my bed, all the way upstairs. I left late. I forgot my scriptures in the rush out the door.
If this had been a BIG event, I may have wallowed in my weaknesses afterward and then tried harder next time. But a small event taught me that that would be relying on myself and not relying on the Lord. When the class started, I was prepared with what mattered most—the principles and doctrines I was to teach.
The result, the lesson developed into the discussion it needed to be, created right in the classroom itself. The feeling wasn’t just me carrying forward my own enthusiasm and emotion for what I learned in preparation but a collective creation of understanding between the teacher and student on the spot.
I’m pondering the application of this life lesson as we prepare for the coming big events of Christmas. Donnetta at My Quiet Corner shared a quote about the Dramatic Versus Ordinary that inspired my thinking. If I’m living just in preparation for the dramatic days, might I be missing out on what I could be creating in both the little ones and the big? What about you?