Who's The Teacher?

October 27, 1998
by Mary Daniel

John 1:18 – Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. (KJV)

One of our daughters was a very determined little soul from the very beginning.

Some might say she was a bit of a challenge. She had to do things her way, and in her time. She wanted things repeated until she understood them implicitly; she always had to know "why"; not content to be told something, she had to find it out for herself, and lots of times she figured her way was best.

She was the kind of kid who could melt your heart and raise your eyebrows in one swift sentence. She concentrated on learning and doing things her way, and as I taught her, so too, was she teaching me. She taught me to have the patience and understanding it took to have it with her.

Now 25, she is a still a good teacher, but now in school. She has the right amount of compassion, but the tenacity to know when her students are "trying her on". She can pull things together when they are falling apart. She has the patience and understanding to listen to things over and over because she has been there herself.

One of the most important things I think she was teaching me, was how to accept my own mother's behaviour at the end of her life: when, suffering from dementia, she again at times, behaved like a little kid.

When the young seem to "walk where they will", perhaps they are teaching us or preparing us for experiences later in life, those times when the elderly "stretch forth their hands". May we realize as we teach our young, that they too, are teaching us.

Prayer: We thank you Lord, for the many ways in which you provide us with the opportunity to learn. May we recognize them and use them wisely. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Mary Daniel <marydee@shaw.ca>
Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada

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