As I sat in my room today, fed up with the world, as my study hall kids left in a bustling herd of destruction and chaos, full of gossip, malice, and deceit- unmotivated to do anything beneficial to their situations, I wanted to collapse beneath my desk.
How often will this carousel keep turning? Will I ever be able to get off? The faces keep changing, but the ride is the same. All I want for them is to be passionate about something! Where has the passion gone? It’s not there in this generation known as generation Z.
As a Millennial, I can recall fond moments of passion and intrigue when it came to learning with my fellow students. I would get EXCITED about things. The apathy found within the students that roam these halls disgusts me and sometimes straight up discourages me. What can I do to feed them PASSION? What can I do to LOVE them? What can I do?
I must admit, there are days when I don’t have the answers. I find that is true of most days. It’s easier to roll my eyes when I see the “disturbed” girl once again bursting through the doors of the office in tears, flinging herself upon the secretary. It’s easier to say some snarky remark to that annoying sophomore with glasses who asks one too many STUPID questions. It’s easier to yell SHUT UP when you overhear students ONCE AGAIN gossiping terribly about one another. It’s easier to ignore the annoying ones. To ridicule the ridiculous ones. To favor the easier ones. IT’S EASIER.
But if you really stop. If you really stop and take a look. If you strip away the noise and the chaos . . . if you take down the masks they pull on, and tear down the walls they build up, you will find one interesting thing- THEY ARE ALL THE SAME.
Yes, some are handsome, and some are pretty . . . some are fat and others are thin . . . some grasp math equations and others can produce a beautiful essay . . . but at the end of the day . .. in the darkness of their bedrooms and beneath the covers . . . lie vessels of confusion, fear, and insecurity.
Why love them? Why smile when it’s easier to frown? Why answer that annoying question just one more time?
Because if you don’t . . . perhaps . . . no one else will…
You see . . . they need you to love them. It may seem like they don’t . . . it may seem as if they have enough self esteem . . . and Lord knows, perhaps some have enough . . . but the reality is . . . each one is just a voice lost amongst a tempest . . . trying to shout the loudest, run the fastest, be the smartest, sing the best, act with the most quality . . . how can they have passion . . . if they don’t have love?
I imagine that the Lord sits at his desk, looking at us unruly teachers as his pupils. How many times do we discourage him? Annoy him? Glare at him? Ridicule him? Disrespect Him? The truth is, we are the same to Him as they are to us- yet what is his response?
Perfect, undeserving, unrelenting, unrequited in some cases- LOVE.
So . . .
The next time a student sneezes on you, steals from you, lies to you, cheats on you, fights in front of you, cusses near you, annoys you, screams at you, pushes you, or just stares at you when you want to be alone . . . or won’t leave your side when you’re absolutely sick of their pudgy faces-
Praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord because of how He deals with you.
Why should we love them?
Because we need HIM to love us.
And after all,
Isn’t that why we were placed here?
So be of good cheer and good courage. Today won’t last forever. Neither will the month, or the school year . . . and before you know it, they will be marching down an aisle with a diploma in their hands, and you’ll be asking yourselves- WHERE DID THE TIME GO?
And perhaps, you may miss the little monsters . . .
Praise the Lord every day for them- every day I am reminded just how badly I need the Lord’s grace and love.
So today, I will choose to love them-
Lord knows . . . I need that kind of love too.
Devin Anavitarte is one of the founders of Enspire Productions. He is currently a teacher at Burton Adventist Academy.