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Devotional of the Month
Applying Knowledge to Life’s “Classroom”
“Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge” (Proverbs 23:12, NIV).
As a teacher on the Navajo Reservation with students whose mother tongue was not English, I decided to pursue a master’s degree in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL). I felt an advanced degree in this discipline was necessary for my job—a trainer of teachers in second language learning. To be effective in my assignment, an advanced degree was essential. I needed as much knowledge and training as possible
I devoted several summers to achieve my goal at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. The mountain setting attracted me for its beauty, cool summers, and proximity to home.
After taking several courses in English grammar and various phases of linguistics, I signed up for a methodology class. By this time, I had had several years of on-the-job experience, and this particular class helped me combine my experience with the other courses. The class sessions were useful; the professor, thorough; discussions, intriguing; assignments, valuable.
At the end of the five-week session, the prof told us to bring a “blue book” to class for the final exam. Arriving in class, he gave us one question—yes, only one: “What are you going to do on Monday morning?” In other words, now that you have the knowledge acquired in this class, how will you apply this information in your classroom. A surprise exam? Definitely. A fair test? Absolutely!
I wrote and wrote and wrote. My fingers became numb. Filling every page of that blue book, I turned it in to the prof at the last minute.
Later, when the professor returned the blue book to me, he had written A+ on the first page with a generous comment about my responses. (Please forgive the boasting.) While shocked at the grade—the first ever A+ for an essay exam in all my education—I felt gratified at being able to demonstrate—well, at least to that prof—that I could apply knowledge to a classroom setting.
In our journeys with the Lord, He is watching to see if we can apply what He is teaching us to our daily walk—in the “classroom” of life. If we are serious about our relationship with God, we know we must grow—growth that comes through disciplined study of His Word and internalizing it. And I believe our loving Father is eager to stamp A+ on our hearts, giving His generous affirmation of our purposed intent to be His disciple.
Father, forgive me for the times I so carelessly treated Your Holy Word. Help me to study it daily and apply this knowledge—Your truth, Your teachings—to my heart and life.
Don't forget to pray for each other! Remember, we have a great mission field in which to disciple our students, their families, and our colleagues and to model the example of Christ - likeness to those we influence.
Second to parenting, educating is the most important career in the world!
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