My first year teaching kindergarten at Southern Elementary School.

Do you think what you do matters?  Do you think you have influence and impact lives?  So many times, we belittle who we are and what we do in this world.

I didn’t go to kindergarten, so my formal education started in first grade.  I had two teachers who profoundly impacted my life.  The first teacher I ever had, Ms. Lindsey, was about a cuddly as a porcupine and she frightened me a little. Okay, let’s be honest, she frightened me a lot. She rarely smiled and always seemed to be in a bad mood. I had never been away from my mother before starting school, except for a play date at a friend’s house, so starting school was a bit traumatic. My mother, trying to help me cope, told me I got to come home every day at 2:30 p.m. So, I often asked Ms. Lindsey the time.  After teaching kindergarten myself, I’m sure I must have asked her that question every ten minutes. After a couple of days of this, she turned on her heel and looked me straight in the eye and said,

It doesn’t matter, Susan, you’re not going home.”

You can imagine, to a six year old that meant ever. I burst into uncontrollable tears. The principal happened to be within ear shot and took me to his office, called my mother, and informed her he was moving me to another classroom.  The next day my teacher was Ms. Allred. I never cried or made a fuss about going to school again. One day my mother asked me why and I told her I liked school.  She asked me what made it different now and I told her,

Ms. Allred makes it different, because she hugs.”

Both of my first grade teachers influenced my decision to become a teacher, but for completely opposite reasons. To this day, I’m still teaching, just in a much larger classroom, but I’ve not forgotten how students will be closed off to learning if they don’t feel safe. I know how important it is to show how much you care if you expect your students to listen to anything you have to say.

Jesus calls us to follow and to lead.

In Matthew 4:19 and Mark 1:17 Jesus said,

Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

And then in Matthew 16:24, Mark 8:34 and Luke 9:23, Jesus said,

If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.

Then in Matthew 10:8, Matthew 28:18-20, Luke 9:2 and Luke 10:9, Jesus calls us to lead through teaching, healing and preaching.

We don’t lead just for the sake of leading.  We lead others to Him, through our words and our deeds.

When I was in sixth grade Reverend Frank Edwards came to our youth group meeting to speak to us.  He said,

Your life may be the only Bible someone reads.  Make sure it’s a good read.”

I’ve never forgotten those words. We never know who we’ll impact or how we’ll do it.  Usually, God takes the things we don’t give a second thought of and uses them to profoundly impact the lives of others.

Has someone had a profound impact in your life?  Take time to tell them.  They may have no idea.  Think of the blessing you could give them by sharing your story.  From time to time I’ve received emails, letters or Facebook messages from people who share how something I’ve said or done has impacted them.  They have no idea how precious those are to me.  They are like kisses from heaven and serve as a reminder to me that God uses flawed people to do His work, if their willing.

Make the call.  Write the letter.  Change a life.

Click here and see what I mean.