By Debbie Christopher ~~Ever since my husband bought me a ‘NOW…THEN…and ALWAYS’ ring when we bacame empty-nesters, it has become one of my favorite phrases.
A similar three word phrase came to mind as I recalled a teacher-themed ladies’ devotional message presented by a very special former education professor. The concept struck me as a perfect backdrop for back-to-school.
Mary Herman, retired education professor and current missionary specializing in international teaching ministries, shared these three words during a graduation week ladies' event a few years back. I recall her devotional message bringing tears to my eyes. Why? Because sitting in that audience were ladies I had taught in their elementary school years, ladies I had taught who were currently teaching in some capacity, and…ladies in my higher ed classes that would be teaching in the years to come---and currently are. My ‘Have...Are...Will’ world was right there with me as we listened to her speak from 2 Timothy 2:2.
Teachers, your ‘Have…Are…Will’ world includes:
Those you have taught
Those you are currently teaching…or those you have taught who are currently teaching
Those you will teach…or current students who will, themselves, be teaching in the future.
This all hit home recently when I realized that former elementary students and former education/ministry students have been major influential leaders and teachers to both my grandson and granddaughter as middle school and youth group teachers and leaders!
So, whether you are a career teacher or professor in a classroom…or a Children’s/Youth Ministry teacher… or a ladies’ ministry Bible teacher…or a living room Bible Study teacher…or a one-on-one coffee shop discipler…remember, you have been taught and are teaching someone who will teach others also.
And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, commit to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”
2 Timothy 2:2 HCSB
YOU are part of someone’s ‘Have…Are…Will’ world, as well as starting your own legacy list!
So, maybe HAVE…ARE…WILL and THEN, NOW, and ALWAYS are not so different afterall.
Who taught or impacted you so that you have taught/impacted someone else who is currently teaching or impacting others? Who are they impacting?
Or, who are you currently teaching/impacting? Who will they teach or impact in the years to come?
...and---who will THEY teach and impact?
Two of my biggest blessings, however, is realizing that our son who is on my 'have taught' list---twice!--- is currently teaching an adult SS class at our church. And, even though I never 'officially' taught our daughter---although I trust I've impacted her in some way 😉---she, too, continues the have...are...will legacy as she teaches our grands and leads and teaches in children's and ladies' ministries. It just doesn't end, folks...it just doesn't end! What joy!
"I have no greater joy than this: to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”
3 John 1:4 HCSB
.Have a blessed year!