Last fall, I was contacted by Karen Bayliff, who was presenting at the New England Association of Christian Schools Convention and wanted to use some of the resources from The Cornerstone in her workshop. I was thrilled at the prospect of collaboration, and even more blown away by her presentation.
One session was called "I Can't Wait to Get to School" and explained how to prepare your heart, home, and classroom so that you and the students are excited about arriving each morning. This is such an important topic, with special significance for Christian teachers, and I thought you all might enjoy reading some practical information from Karen. One of her suggestions was to take time to feed your own soul, and Karen has graciously expounded on that concept here through a guest blogger devotion. If you enjoy her words, please take a moment to leave a comment on the post (if you've gotten this through your email, just click on the post title and you'll be brought to the site--at the end of the post, you'll see the comment box). Enjoy!
I've been thinking about what I do as an educator every day: Teaching...instructing...spooning out information to the young lives that sit in my classroom. I do this all day long hoping that much of it will "stick".
At night, when I finally have a few moments to myself, I take in as much of the day's news as I can assimilate. I catch radio stories at the top of the hour, the newspaper gets a scan, and anything newsworthy that catches my eye online gets devoured. My head is now full of more information than I could ever possibly use!
Often times, however, it is my soul that gets neglected. Even an obligatory reading of my daily scripture passage often may not get past my head and down into my heart. The early morning hours seem to be a particularly difficult time to thoughtfully study and ponder on the truths of the Word. At that time of day my racing mind is already filling with busy ideas and plans about the next twelve hours, and it doesn't seems to want to slow down for a spiritual feeding.
What about you? The psalmist says "How sweet are thy words unto my taste! Yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth" (Psalms 119:103). Are the wonderful, awesome, sweet truths of the Word able to slowly drip down from your head to your heart and soul? Do they fortify you for the day ahead, or are the precious passages quickly forgotten as you walk out the door? Does your soul's "sugar level" stay above the danger zone, enabling you to get through a long day with the "spiritual insulin" it received in your morning devotions?
Here is an idea that may help you. Continue reading the Bible where you left off the day before. Read slowly...carefully...thoughtfully until you come to a phrase, passage or verse that really speaks to your heart. Stop right there. Allow yourself to be saturated, mind and soul, with that single truth. Then, jot the nugget down on a 3x5 index card. Stick that card on your mirror, prop it on your desk, or put it anywhere that will allow you to "snack" on that truth all day long. Glance at the morsel often and find opportunity to share your "tidbit of the day" with a family member or other believer.
By narrowing your focus, you will truly be able to meditate throughout the busy workday on a specific point of truth. Your spiritual "blood levels" will stay elevated enough to meet any demands that your day may bring your way. Later, as time allows, deeper Bible study will provide the "meat" of a spiritually balanced diet.
Psalm 34:8 tells us to "Taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him." Let's not go out our door in the morning until we have "packed a lunch" that will carry our heart and souls through the day ahead!
Karen Bayliff grew up in Connecticut and graduated from Tennessee Temple University. She spent over 30 years raising/homeschooling 4 children and ministering as a pastor's wife, and now teaches 5th grade at Emmanuel Christian Academy in Newington, Connecticut.
If you would like to provide a devotion here as a guest blogger, please email me! I would love to share your ideas.