“…What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” James 4:14
How do I balance living in the moment with wisely planning for the future? If thinking only of today, will the future take care of itself? My heart says, “I know I’m not guaranteed another day.” My actions do not always match.
This is my tenth year as a public-school teacher. I’ve been in my current building for nine years, my longest stint in any job. Equal to the number of years I was a stay-at-home-mom. Cue feelings of restlessness.
Next week is spring break, followed by the final nine weeks. A flurried push to end the year strong is filled with activities. The toughest part of the year.
I am tired. Thoughts of, “How many more years can I do this?” begin to play over and over in my head. A desire for change creeps in, negatively affecting my mood. This describes my mindset for the past couple of weeks.
Suddenly, in the middle of the tiredness, a fleeting thought. Quickly dismissed. Did not write it down, afraid to say it out loud. But this thought would not leave me alone.
What if I continued teaching for ten more years?
I could look back and say, “Wow! I taught elementary school for twenty years!” An accomplishment I would be proud of. Imagine how many students would cross my path. But it sounds like such a long time…
Trust me, these ideas reflect the complete opposite of my recent list of wants:
- Spend more time playing the piano
- Search out new accompanying opportunities
- Teach piano lessons again
At least, I think those are the things I want to do. Truthfully, at this moment I don’t know what I want to do. And that is ok. Maybe “not knowing” is a safe place to remain for now.
Whether I teach one more year or ten, I must give it my best. Allow some new life to be breathed into my teaching. Somehow James 4:14, “…a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes,” makes that feel possible. It may not be logical, but such is faith.
Feels like I have walked in one big circle. Now back at the beginning, I need to listen, reflect, and rest. And trust that is enough.
“Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit’-yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” James 4:13-15