The weather is dreary and the words "yucky" just keeps popping into my mind. The one positive is I have a great new book. I am reading one of my favorite authors ever, Philip Yancey. His books, The Jesus I Never Knew and What's So Amazing about Grace changed my life, helped me get into all kinds of issues, and sent my faith into a really different direction. I was looking for something to kind of get me out of the rut I am in and there was Yancey's Soul Survivor. The book is interestingly a book about the 13 people's books and lives who changed Yancey's life. COOL! He was changed from someone's work, wrote, and now I am changed from his work. I love it. As always, Yancey is challenging. If you want sweet lovey dovey feel good about yourself, SKIP THIS AUTHOR! If you want to be knocked in the head, stabbed in the heart, thrown face down before GOD, and then cry out in repentance....read YANCEY!
I am also reading for my dissertation. Much of what I am reading concerns the idea of hope teachers bring to children. I love the material. For me life is like a great train ride. You go from station to station. On one part of the journey you sit with some really great people. Then you arrive at a station and some depart, wave at you, and you continue on meeting some new people and hanging with some of the old ones. Sometimes you leave the train to explore the station and city beyond, but then you get called back to the train for another leg. I have spent my life trying to be sure if the current station is one to visit or if I should change trains or if I should just remain still for a few more stops. We sometimes miss the train we were meant to take or we get too comfy at a station and don't want to leave. We get upset when others buy a different ticket and try to make those we love take our exact complete ride. But, we all have our own journeys.
A teacher is the person you meet along the way who sells the maps. A teacher shows you all of the possible destinations and NEVER says, "You know, this city, well I don't think you can go there." A real teacher says, "Um...that trip may be hard, but I bet you can get there if you are patient." Hope is the passenger we all want to sit with on the train. We love the conversation Hope has with us as the fields, meadows, mountains, and rivers pass our window, because Hope points it all out and makes us aware of what we can be.
Yancey is one of my favorite teachers. I have never met him except in the pages of his books, which I have taken with me on many journeys. They have made me take a different train many times in life. I hope this week you have the opportunity to show a child a map and be the HOPE passenger. At the end of the journey, I do not want to be found having missed the stations that were meant for me, but more importantly I do not want to be the reason a child lost hope and missed his or her ultimate destination.