For whatever reason, I have been thinking about educators lately and the ones that made the biggest impact on my life as a student. Ranging from elementary school to the university level, I realized there was a common theme. My favorite educators were the ones that challenged me the most.
Sure, their classes were hard and they expected a lot of me. But I rose to their challenge and usually excelled in them even more so than easier classes. I wouldn't have gone to school with a high fever for just any teacher, but for some I did. I once had a professor read a paper I wrote and hand it back to me saying, "I know you can do better." And I could, so I did.
My point is two fold. First, I must do the same with Kaleb. I love him and will eventually expect a lot out of him because of that love. Like a good teacher, I will have to let him make mistakes but be there to correct him when he does. I can't say "no" before he gets into trouble now, but must first see what he does (unless it is a matter of safety) and then proceed accordingly. As easy as it is to just do things for our little ones, I must be patient as he learns, guiding him along the way. There will be times when I would rather prevent him from making a mistake instead of letting him fall and being there to pick him up and comfort him afterward. However, the point of parenthood is to raise children that will become independent, responsible and productive citizens of society.
This leads me to a bigger, more important concept. My Father has the ability to make my life as comfortable as he wants. But does he? No. Why? Because He loves me. I would never know the mountainside highs if I didn't have to experience the valleys. I know there will be hard days ahead of me. I have friends going through hard times and I just want to take it away from them, but I can't. The one thing I have been assured of though, is that God, like a good teacher, will refine us all in those trying times. Some of His most beautiful, faithful followers are the ones who have been through the fire and come out on the other side more alive than before.
I wouldn't have had that relief of being done with a semester if it wouldn't have been hard. I wouldn't have been so excited to get a top grade if the test would have been easy. Even as a fourth grader, I wouldn't have learned what I did had my teacher not pushed me and my classmates. In all of life, no matter what the age... we all have so much to learn. I am thankful that God doesn't give up on me, but that He continues to teach me daily. I am thankful that He gives me wisdom, that he puts trials in front of me that require me to submit everything to Him.