Serving as a substitute kindergarten teacher frequently brought delightful moments as you can imagine. I miss those oversized reading books I used for group reading exercises. Sharing time provided more surprises than Q & A sessions while being a Bible teacher at a district camp meeting. Coordinating bathroom breaks and snack times either developed the teacher’s logistic skills or sent them to a hermit’s hut. I asked students to take a nap in those days – years later my students would take the initiative on their own during one of my three hour lectures.
Good lesson plans helped me survive in those days. The year’s first snowfall, however, brought on what I call GADD or Generalized Attention Deficit Disorder. Lesson plans lost their strategic significance. Big books and calendar time lost their luster as millions of miracles fell from the sky. Mortal teachers lost their influence as well. Janitors had extra duty cleaning the windows of little nose prints and Play Doh infused dermal ridges. None of us could pay attention to the strategically planned educational activities.
Luke 12 reminds me of those first snow falls. Kindergarten Teacher Jesus tried desperately to guide the trampling crowd out of their Generalize Attention Deficit Disorder. Teacher Jesus began His teaching with “Beware” and ends the lengthy chapter with “Give diligence”. In between He points out dangerous pitfalls set up by false teachers, sidetracking pleasures, dark motives such as covetousness, anxieties, and leadership abuses. As a great teacher He sought to give them something more constructive to observe. He pointed out God’s superintending care that even counted their hairs, the Holy Spirit’s ability to provide words in court cases, and the Father’s good pleasure to deliver the kingdom. Jesus also spoke of discerning the time – a time with pending judgment. Such judgment would bring punishment or rich reward depending on the servant’s stewardship.
While snowflakes deserved every kindergartener’s attention, and their teacher’s attention as well I might add, spiritual ADD seriously hinders spiritual maturation. When I attend to hurtful attacks of others more than my value to the Father, poor emotional and behavior outcomes will always follow. When my energy expenditure revolves around hording resources for fear that I will not have food or clothing, I overlook the opportunity to give alms to those in need. In short, I start acting like the world and its GADD.
I think today could be Christmas day if I only look where You point. Your Presence patiently guides my every step, thought, and emotion. I wander what gifts are in store for your children today as we focus on Your purposes rather than our own? Show us the sparkling of Your Presence I pray. Forgive me of my momentary ADD. I never feared Your love would leave when cares of life distract me, but I do know You desire far more flourishing that comes only from attending to Your Kingdom principles.
Today presents many chores for me to accomplish. I think I put my head on the pillow last night in anticipatory exhaustion over what is to come. I dedicate this day to You. I pray Your kingdom come, Your will be done. Perhaps I’ll breath again.
My mother taught me a song before I ever went to school. She said, “Watch your eyes, watch your eyes what they see.” Sometimes I feel good when that applies to media consumption, but sometimes I even fail then. Hearing Your voice this morning reminds me that You have set far better things before my eyes. These better things will shrink my fears and expand my capacity for joyful service. By Your grace I will have a better outlook today. If I do it today and tomorrow, if I walk with others in this way, then I will more clearly see Your kingdom’s outbreaking all around me.
Lord, today I lay aside designs for bigger barns. Instead help me to attend to “bags which wax not old.” Who knew a bag can hold more treasure than bigger barns? Will you guide my alms giving in ways that provide care for another one of Your children? Maybe showing them this kind of Jesus will give them a glimpse of the love and hope they long for but have failed to find. Maybe they too can learn to hear Your voice calling them to a better way.
I think I can learn. I believe, help Thou my unbelief. I listen, help Thou my ADD.
In Jesus’ Name,
Thank you for walking with me through Luke 12. Perhaps the passage speaks to some area of ADD in your life as well. James 5 tells us we can experience healing if we confess these faults one to another. Fervent prayer still avails much!