The Little Things

Being a teacher was always the occupation I would have put on the bottom of my list. But I have fallen in love with teaching in a way I never thought I would. I graduated high school a mere six months ago, and here I am, teaching a kindergarten English class in Cambodia to 25 students whose ages range from 5-15. It’s an extreme struggle, but I’ve fallen in love. There is something so sweet about my students and their kind hearts. The pictures I get drawn for me daily, the jewelry that has been given to me, the dance parties, the smiles & the laughter & sassiness from my students. I love it all. Some days can be really hard; and some days, I honestly don’t feel like teaching. But those are always the days that turn out to be the best and the Lord always gives me a sweet reminder of how precious each day is. Last week, I had the most precious experience so far with my kindergarten class. It was one of those days where I really wasn’t in the mood to teach. I was tired, it was hot (as it always is,) and I didn’t feel like teaching. But I forced myself anyway, and went to review the ABC’s with my students once again. There were more students there than normal this day and even with Casey, Haley and myself teaching our class, it still felt overwhelming with the mass amount of students we had to manage. They weren’t listening to instructions and we were really struggling to keep them on track.

Then something strange happened.

All of our students’ eyes opened wide and their smiles grew bigger than I’ve ever seen before. They screamed and yelled and began jumping out of their seats and running outside of our classroom. Each and every one of our students ran outside waving their hands and jumping up and down with excitement and ran toward the fence nearby. We were confused as to what was happening and we ran outside to see what was going on and to round them back up and get them back into class.  They all had their hands pressed against the fence and their faces pointed up to the sky. Then we realized what all this excitement was about. A helicopter. Sounds silly, right? But it wasn’t. It was one of the most beautiful, and precious sights I’ve ever seen– so much excitement over a helicopter. Why is that? Why was it such a big deal?

Later, after asking our translator, we found out that airplanes and helicopters rarely fly over this area and many of our students may not have seen one before. So when they heard it flying over, and heard the sound and had to catch a glimpse of this thing they had never had the chance to see before. It is a memory that I will never forget. The look of pure joy on each of my students face as the raced out of the classroom to see this thing that generally most people don’t even take note of. We see airplanes all the time. Heck, I spent 13 straight hours on one to get here. (That was only one of three fights from Atlanta to Phnom Pehn.) But the sweet part about it all was the utter joy of the kids in seeing this thing fly in the sky and how important it was to them. Nothing mattered more in that moment than getting outside to see whatever was flying above our heads.

It’s such a sweet parallel to how we should be with Christ. His word talks about having child-like faith and the power that comes with the faith that children have. No preconceptions, no terms or conditions. Children love whole-heartedly and have no bounds when it comes to what they can believe. The Lord delights in that. He delights when we run to him with wide eyes and cheesy smiles. He finds joy in our child-like mannerisms and when we treasure the smallest of things. We don’t need to wait for the Lord to show up and do some great and mighty act in our lives. He wants us to see him moving in the day-to-day things. In the small things that often go unseen or unnoticed. Just like how my students dropped everything and ran out of class to see the helicopter; that’s how the Lord wants us to be with him. He wants us to drop everything and chase after him, even if it means we only get to see a short glimpse of him working. He wants us to drop our expectations and our plans and our possessions and chase after him. Like a child finds joy in the smallest of things, we should find joy in the Lord in his small deliverances and blessings he gives daily.

Pray-ong la-awh,
Rawl we-leah.
& all the time,
God is good.


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