I teach the Summer CCE session for 8th graders at my local parish. And this mission has been rewarding but, also very challenging. I realize everyday just how much patience I actually have. I have been asked some very deep and hard questions. I have even had a few special moments when the youth surprise me with what they know about their faith and what they don't know. I have had some humbling experiences with these students and I am hoping by the end of the session some empowering moments as well.
This late at night, I am weary. I feel like this is so much harder than it really should be. These kids don't want to be talked to. They want to talk to someone. And I am never quite sure I am the right one to talk to. I worry that maybe I have bitten off too much to chew. I am coming to the end of the session soon. But, I still pray at night that I am a good catechist and that I will put my worries aside and trust that God called me to share his word with these young people.
I want to share the story of how this all came about. When I registered my children for the summer session, I had absolutely NO intention of teaching. I planned to have quiet dinners with my husband and catch up on us, while someone else taught my kids of course. I had planned walks in the neighborhood by ourselves (we haven't ever done this). I wanted to meet my husband at the local state park for a bike ride or stroll on the banks of the creek. I wanted time to reconnect with my husband. This time was going to be me, for "us".
As I get to the registration office, the director very quickly informs me that my son's 3rd grad class is full and that he would have to go to the fall session or home study. Unless, of course, I taught, then he could open another class. But, he needed a teacher to do it. I told him I would consider it and sat in line for the fall session for 30 minutes. Impatiently, I got up returned to the director and volunteered to teach so that all three of my little Catholics could be in Summer CCE together.
So, that was it. I had committed to something that I had not intended to do. I decided in 30 minutes to give up my nights with my husband to teach because it would get things out of the way and they would all be effectively catechized. Still, selfishly, thinking of only myself. I left, drove for about 5 minutes, and realized. My son's 3rd grade class was a mistake. My son is a 4th grader and that class was one that was still open.
I pulled over turned my car around and headed back to church. He needed to be in the correct class for the session. As I waited at the traffic light, the sun peaked out of the clouds turning them pink. The sun made my skin reflect gold and my eyes filled with tears and I knew. I said out loud,"I know that was you Father. I know I am supposed to work for you and I know why I made that simple mistake. I know those children need me right now, not later."
The light turned green and I drove towards church with an incredible sense of support and comfort. I was weightless. I felt as though he was carrying me. I was even granted a green light at every intersection and prime parking spot too. (winks).
And that is the inspiration for this entry. How God works in my life is clearer to me as I get older or as I get better at listening and following him. God trusts me with these young beautiful souls, and I need to trust his wisdom. I need to share everything I can with them so that they will feel confident to share their faith too. But, boy does it wear me out and make me wonder if I have done a good job.