From the moment I started attending Timothy Lutheran School in Chicago as a 4th grader, I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. Actually, truth be told, I first wanted to be a pastor until I figured out there was more to that calling than writing and preaching sermons. Teaching was the most logical next choice. My teaching role model was Mr. Bernie Lutz, my first teacher at Timothy. While I don’t recall any academic knowledge he imparted, his compassion was unquestionable and his enduring legacy, an integral part of my own classroom presence.
How are you most likely to define yourself- by your occupation (teacher, minister, youth director)? by your family role? by your emotions (rejected, betrayed, abandoned, ignored, beloved)? My primary descriptor was “called teacher at Northwest Lutheran School”. Depending on the day, any or all of those emotions could manifest themselves.
In 1 Corinthians 6:20, St. Paul reminds us: “You are not your own. You were bought at a price.” We are so beloved of Jesus that He paid the ultimate price for our sins. Our healing process necessitates that we center our reflections on whose we are rather than who we are.
“Lord of the Dance” was a staple of Lutheran folk services in the early 1970’s. Remember the chorus?:
Dance, dance, wherever you may be,
I am the Lord of the dance, said He!
And I’ll lead you all, wherever you may be,
And I’ll lead you all in the dance, said He.
In your ministry and life dance, is Jesus really taking the lead, or are you looking down at your own feet?