Ms. Felicia looked at her watch. It was half past three in the afternoon. She was getting impatient with her high school English class. The students were taking too long to finish their essays.
She glanced outside the window and reminisced how it was the first time she taught almost 20 years ago. When she started with this profession, Ms. Felicia was very eager and her hopes were very high. She had also been considered as one of the best teachers. She loved her students and would go out of her way to help them, not only with academic problems but also with their personal concerns. During break time, she enthusiastically shared the Gospel to her students. She could tell stories about Jesus in a very interesting way. In fact, she was able to lead many of them to surrender their lives to the Lord.
However, these days, she's really burned-out. It's been almost a year that she's been feeling this way towards her job. It was like falling out of love. She told herself repeatedly that it was time to move on to another career. Getting up early in the morning to go to work no longer thrilled her. School and the students had lost much of their appeal. In fact, she had started questioning herself about her real purpose in life.
As Ms. Felicia walked home after class, she decided to head for the park to help her relax a bit. It was a cool, quiet afternoon... the kind of atmosphere one needed to be able to reflect. She sat on a bench and looked at the orange and yellow daisies that lined the pathway. Butterflies in varied colors nestled contentedly on the petals of the flowers. It was a joy watching how carefree they were, just like what Matthew 6:25 and 28 said, "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin."
Her thoughts were interrupted by someone greeting her, "Good afternoon, Ms. Felicia." She looked at the young, handsome gentleman in front of her. He was well dressed in a gray suit and shiny black pair of shoes. He had taken off his hat and was extending his hand to her. Ms. Felicia shook the man's hand briefly and asked, "Good afternoon. Do I know you?" The man sat beside her. "You don't remember me, Ms. Felicia? I was your student in English about 12 years ago. My name is Jonathan Gibson."
Images from the past flashed in Ms. Felicia's mind. Of course she remembered Jonathan. He was one of her most mischievous students. She again saw scenes of how he had always made fun of her whenever she talked about God. There was even a time when he threw a stone at her and called her "the Jesus freak". "Jonathan, yes, of course!", Ms. Felicia was surprised. "But you look different... very different. My, you have really grown."
"I have, Ms. Felicia... I've grown and I've changed. I'm so sorry for making your life miserable. And I'm thankful that you never reported my foolishness to the principal.", Jonathan smiled.
"You were very young then, Jonathan. I understood. And I also heard how difficult your childhood was.", Ms. Felicia smiled back.
"It was, Ms. Felicia, but I'm so grateful for your patience. Those Bible verses that I used to ridicule actually changed my life.", Jonathan now looked serious.
"They did?" Ms. Felicia looked astonished . "I wasn't aware you were paying attention."
"I was listening to everything you were saying. They struck real hard at the very core of my heart, especially Romans 3:23, "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." It was hard to accept my sinful nature. That's why I behaved very badly.", Jonathan's face looked so peaceful as he admitted his wrongdoings.
"I praise the Lord for what He has done in your life, Jonathan." Ms. Felicia looked at him gently. "So, are you a manager now or a lawyer perhaps?"
"No, I'm not exactly like that.", Jonathan laughed. "I now live in another city and I'll be here for just a couple of days. I've been invited to speak at the leadership conference of the Methodist Church."
"You... you're going to speak on leadership?", Ms. Felicia was puzzled. "You're a teacher then?"
"You can say that I'm also a teacher, Ms. Felicia, but I am primarily God's servant now. I am a pastor." Jonathan's face looked so angelic when he said that.
"A pastor?", Ms. Felicia expressed in disbelief. "That's amazing, Jonathan!"
Jonathan looked straight at his former teacher. There were now tears in his eyes. "I became a pastor because you taught me how to pray. You fearlessly shared His Word despite being ridiculed. You showed me humility and repentance. I thank God for giving me a teacher like you. You're a blessing, Ms. Felicia. We need more teachers like you."
After a long inspiring talk with Jonathan, they went their separate ways. Ms. Felicia hurried home. She had to prepare for her class tomorrow. She felt the love of God fill her heart. When she went back to the classroom the next day, her spirit was renewed. She already knew the purpose of her life.
Teaching is her calling. And as long as God wants to use her here, she will continue teaching till He calls her home.
"And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!" (Romans 10:15)
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