Heeding instruction key to lifelong happiness

Posted: Friday, February 11, 2005

A great American institution took place this week. It was a time of face-to-face meetings, of surprise and delight. In some cases it meant surprise and despair.

Hearts were uplifted and hearts were discouraged. For some it brought great relief, for some it will mean much more work. Consequences of those meetings will range from insignificant to life changing.

I am speaking of course, about the parent-teacher conferences in our local schools.

I, for one, would like to go on record and say a great big "thank you" to the teachers in our school district. I know many of them personally, and the vast majority of them are doing a wonderful job educating our children.

Most of the teachers I know go well above and beyond the call of duty for their students in more ways than I could enumerate.

For proof I ask you to attend any extracurricular activity sponsored by any of our schools. In almost every case you will find dedicated teachers attending, and usually helping out off the clock.

They attend because they take a personal interest in their students and the families of their students. Their commitment extends far beyond the classroom.

While attending school or community events, I am often asked by teachers and staff to update them about our kids who have finished high school and are living elsewhere.

Some teachers even open their homes to students who return for holidays.

We are truly blessed by the quality of teachers in our district. I applaud their efforts and try to encourage them as I have opportunity. I hope you will take the time to thank them, as well.

In addition to the knowledge they pass on to students, their presence serves as a reminder that we should never stop learning.

Proverbs 16:20 says, "Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers...."

That is certainly true for those who have gone through our school system and have benefited by the quality education they received as well as the encouragement and support of terrific teachers along the way.

Each week the Peninsula Clarion brings reports and pictures of our students who have gone on to higher education or the military and done very well. It brings to mind the old bumper sticker that says, "If you can read this, thank a teacher."

The rest of the scriptural verse goes on to say, "... and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord."

We should be thankful too, for the many teachers, staff, administrators, students and other community members who model that truth as well.

Much of society today has erased boundaries, established new parameters and jettisoned many of the morals and values that have been so important, not only to quality education, but life skills, as well.

I am so thankful for those individuals who, with balance and compassion, do their best to lead by example.

Do you trust the Lord? Another passage from the Book of Proverbs says, "Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the holy one is understanding." Provers 9:9,10.

What kind of student are you?

Phil Reemtsma is pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, 208 Lawton Drive in Kenai. Contact the church at www.calvarykenai.org. Reemtsma's e-mail address is cbc@gci.net.

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