Religion column: Passing on life lessons

The closing of another school year will soon be here. It brings back many thoughts filed in my mental book of memories. The simple trust and faith of children are traits I need everyday. When facing obstacles in my life, I think of problems from children’s perspective.

“We have to go on to third grade because we’re growing up,” one of my second grade students told me near the end of school. Then I remembered the trauma I felt when our own sons began to leave the nest. To me they were still supposed to be at home.

“You’ve been wonderful parents but it’s time for me to grow up,” our last son said as he hugged me tight. My tears fell on his feet, yet in my heart I had to let go.

I learned many lessons from children and those of my own.

Lesson one: “You treasure the time you have with those you love and then you let them go.” Every year I hugged each student goodbye with misty eyes. I did the same thing when our own children left home. I sent my students and our sons on to the next stage of their lives to soar successfully on wings of love and prayers.

Lesson two: Faith of children enables others. A student came up to me one day on the playground, “Teacher, I prayed for you last night. I asked the Lord to keep you,” he replied, not knowing the heartache that faced me. My mother had been hospitalized and the outcome did not look good. The faith filled prayer of this little one enabled me to carry on.

Lesson three: “Nothing done for God is ever wasted.” The seemingly little things in life become monumental to those who need ease from sorrow. Just to know someone else cares is a comfort. Those words and thoughts will long be remembered with grateful appreciation. What seems so small to you becomes great in the eyes of a hurting soul.

Lesson four: “It’s what’s on the inside that counts,” a student said during a social studies lesson. What a profound quote from a little second grader. His insight amazed me and I have never forgotten his statement.

Lesson five: “Overlook offenses.” I’m sure I have offended someone unknowingly and I feel sorrow for that. I need to be more like the children. They can have a disagreement one minute and walk off with arms around each other the next. “Love is not rude, is not selfish, and does not get upset with others. Love does not count up wrongs that have been done” (NCV). I have seen the gracious instant forgiving attitude possessed by children and I want those same characteristics.

Lesson six: “Expressing love is like “hugs” from God.” While walking down the hall one day, I overheard a third grader say, “That’s my teacher from last year.

She loves me.”

If a child’s affection fills my heart with delight, how much more does my delight fill God’s heart? I want to hear him say,

“That’s my child down there. She loves me!”