Written by:
Alex Ganaden

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Heed Instructions

By Alex Ganaden

We owe much to those who lived in the past. It is because of those who have passed on their legacies that we have the chance to live life to the fullest. The more we listen to the voice of those who have come before us the more we learn. When we fail to let our ears be inclined to the lessons of the past we fail to be truly human and can make things much more difficult for ourselves.

As a teacher, I often must show the subtle difference between mere hearing and listening. The usage of the English Language has helped my students a lot when it comes to building up their own confidence to listen. They must learn and listen a lot if they want to understand our lessons.

Does God want me to learn something from this because, if so, I could definitely use a heads-up.

But the process of teaching English also allows my students to learn things beyond our lessons’ concerns – things like patience, faith, or even lessons of love. I found myself happy in teaching. However, even knowing the impact I was having on my students, there came a point in my life when I realized that teaching as a profession and as a passion had lost its spark - its thrill in my life. After five years I found myself thinking, “Why?” Why lose interest in doing what you love in the first place? Why should I find myself in such a difficult place? Does God want me to learn something from this because, if so, I could definitely use a heads-up. I began searching for answers which led me nowhere. Finally, God spoke.

Hearing that voice did not come easily. Dryness lurked into every lesson I delivered. I battled storms of anger in me as my students seemed to show less and less interest in their work as they sensed my loss of passion. Maybe I lost it because I myself did not know how to listen. I believed that I was a person whose only responsibility as a human being was to give and give. When I truly listened, however, I realized that I also need to receive. I’m not talking about rewards or recognitions that I could get from my students – I’m talking about the lessons they could can teach me, which no book could ever teach.

When I truly listened, however, I realized that I also need to receive.

From the scripture passage messaged above, we learned that Paul only wanted the best for the men who traveled with him. He warned them of a storm, but they ignored him. And maybe, in a way, it makes sense that they didn’t listen to Paul – his was the voice of a prisoner, after all. Now I know that those unlikely voices, like those of my students, or others who do not have the same experience as us, might be worth listening to. It doesn’t hurt to lend an ear and open our hearts to voices found in the strangest of places – we never know what might save us from the next storm.

Discussion Question: Is there a voice that you need to listen to?