"I don't want to be here. I want to walk out the door and never come back. I'm so tired of being treated rudely by 12-year-olds." That was me last Friday at work. I was so frustrated. I still am.
But acting on that desire to walk out the door and never returning would mean a whole lot of changes that I'm not prepared to face, yet. I've heard myself saying over and over that I want to quit my job. I can't stand the rude and disobedient children and the powers that be allow this type of behavior to continue. We teachers are stuck with our hands behind our back without power as we watch the overall discipline in our classrooms go down the toilet. The message is getting clearer day-by-day: no consequences if we misbehave. We might as well misbehave and have fun while we are at it.
And I am stuck feeling powerless and like an old biddy telling people to walk on the right and get off the grass. This is the first year in 28 that I haven't regularly and immediately told kids to spit out their gum. It isn't worth the battle.
But I'm really good at what I do. I feel like I am needed by the younger teachers, by the students, and by the parents of my students. I am a rock in a mire. But I'm starting to sink, myself. I am seeking options. Where can I go that I am wanted, appreciated, and supported? I've complained to a dozen others and asked for advice, but there is no peace.
Last Saturday I had breakfast with a friend named Jackie. We were discussing a church in Mississippi that had gone through a split over the losing/hiring of a pastor. Jackie said one of the men she knew said he would NEVER vote in support of the recommendation of the pastoral search committee. I quickly made the comment that I would go find another church instead of voting NO and not supporting the new pastor.
Later Saturday night I was walking the dog when it dawned on me that I was acting like the NO-voter. I was bucking the system and NEW status quo. I was the old biddy with outdated expectations, while all the new administration and new teachers just let it roll and allow it. Their standards are different. Perhaps I need to go and find another
church work environment that isn't as progressive. I'm kicking against the goads. And I'm only hurting my own feet. I'm the one who is bothered--so why don't I get out instead of complaining about the administration. It is the new way of things, and I am the old. I need to shut up or ship out. My attitude should be one of support, not sabotage. Or find a different ship--one that appreciates old school values and expectations.
I just don't know what to do.
So when I read the above passage in Joshua 8 about the people making decisions and deals with others by checking out outside appearances such as crusty crumbs of bread without petitioning wisdom and direction from the King of the Universe, I had to pause.
Dear God, please help me to not make the same mistake as the Israelite leaders--to make decisions based on influence of others and distorted images. I want to be pleasing to you, but I am hurting on the inside. I don't want to feel used and taken advantage of and unappreciated. I don't know what to do about it. Should I sit down and try to talk with my superiors to try to influence their support? Should I fill out a resume and practice my interviewing skills, should I grumble and gossip and complain all day every day?
I want to go to Africa and see if my skills couldn't be helpful to those who are hurting and in need.
God, you know how many hairs are on my head. You know which ones are brown, blonde, and gray. You know my heart. You love me. You love me so much that you sent Jesus to pay the price for my sins and give me the opportunity to live with you and for you. And now I need help. What is best for me? Guide and direct my steps, my vision, my way. Help me to be submissive and respectful to those in authority over me and to be a good leader watching over those entrusted in my care. Forgive me for my bitterness, resentment, and gossiping.
You say in your word, If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God who gives to all men liberally and without scolding. James 1
You say Submit yourselves to God. Resist the Devil and he will flee from you, Come near to God, and he will come near to you. James 4
"If it is the Lord's will, we will do this or that." James 4:15