Being a teacher is a challenge. Sure, I don’t actually start teaching until August, but I’ve already run head first into challenge number one.
I’ve started to work on lesson plans for next year. This involves going through your material (in this case a textbook) and creating a broad outline for the year. As a history teacher, this gives me a succinct overview of American history from the 16th century to the present. So, imagine taking in that much history in such a short amount of time, add Biblical perspective, shake thoroughly, and you get challenge number one:
Christians did some terrible things over the course of history.
Sure, I’ve already learned about the problems with Christianity over the course of history, but to prepare a lesson of this magnitude for 7th and 8th graders can be a daunting task.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed, easy to think, “How am I going to teach these difficult concepts to young people?” Then, maybe even more challenging, “How do I work through this myself?”
I’m a seeker of truth. Whether it’s something trivial or something monumental, I want to get to the truth. I think this is why I’m drawn to history–I’m not interested in fluff. Some great things have happened in the past, but some terrible things have happened as well. Either way, I want the true story.
Finding truth in history is not easy. History is complicated, just as our own individual lives are complicated. History is people driven, so with that comes different emotions, motivations, sins, and triumphs. It’s a messy conglomeration of messy stuff. Christians included.
It’s important to realize that as an educator, I’m responsible for communicating the truth with wisdom. I can’t change history or make it fit into a neat little box tied with a Christian bow, but I can help kids understand that we serve a just, sovereign, loving God.
Christians have never been perfect and they never will be (at least on this side of heaven). We still sin, we still make mistakes, and we still do terrible things in the name of God. It shouldn’t be this way, but it is. And it’s something that we can’t sweep under the rug. All we can do is acknowledge that God creates beauty from ashes. God uses sinners to accomplish his will on Earth. And in this way, because we have a Savior who paid the price for sinners, history becomes a story of redemption.
“May the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you rule the peoples with equity and guide the nations of the earth.” Psalm 67:4