25 Kislev 5778 / Wednesday, December 13, 2017 | Torah Reading: Mikeitz
 
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Trust the Teacher    

Trust the Teacher



Some students act with trust in their teacher; they realize that he isn’t demanding the impossible. They know that he cares for them and isn’t doing anything without a purpose…

 



Working as a teacher has taught me a lot about faith. One example is how you see the students react to any homework or tests. As the teacher, you take on the position of leading your students towards the goals set out by the Ministry of Education. The teacher can see beyond the short-term and can map out a course of action for her students for their ultimate success in passing the necessary tests. Every teacher desires that the students excel in the material, but occasionally the teacher must increase the level of challenge in order for their students to have a chance to succeed and progress at a higher and more rewarding level.

 

Some students act with trust in their teacher; they realize that he isn’t demanding the impossible. They know the teacher cares for them and isn’t doing anything without a purpose for their success. They even thank the teacher for the added difficulty because they want to move ahead in life. Teachers love these kind of students!  They subsequently adjust their time to prepare for the lesson and its upcoming exam, and normally they succeed, or try again until they do and more often than not, the teacher will go out of their way to help them if needed. On the other side there are students who suddenly freak out, they forget the teacher’s good intentions, and previous good will. Instead they focus on the homework assignment that will cut into their after school computer game. All they see is pain and lack of comfort. Soon their sweet life becomes a bitter storm of chaos and complaining, which only irritates the teacher and further pushes the student behind. Although the teacher has love for this student as well, the attitude of the student conveys a message of total lack of belief and trust in the teacher. Normally this type of student struggles and often fails inside the classroom.

 

The above examples are exactly how we react to the tests of Emuna that our great teacher Hashem gives us. An inherent principal in Emuna is that every occurrence in and outside of the “classroom of life” is designed by God to bring our awareness closer to Him. In that case, there is a reason for everything, since the Best Teacher, God Himself, would never do anything without a purpose. People who have faith and spend time in personal prayer daily sharing their successes and failures with The Creator, often respond to the ups and downs much better than those who react without deliberation. They respond to the challenge and don’t react without thinking.

 

What is the secret of success? Those with faith are seeking God in every situation, good and otherwise. They want to know what God wants and are ready to fight their impulses that may suggest for them to do differently. Faith seekers know that the difficulties are coming from God for a reason: so that they seek Him and His will and move forward, with complete conviction that He is right there with him in any crisis, test or pop quiz in life.

 

More often than not a cause for our dissatisfaction in life comes from our lack of Faith. We have to remember and internalize through prayer and meditation that everything that happens to us, including the events that cause us discomfort, is for our ultimate good.  It’s our job to put in the effort of applying our 3 Faith principles:

 

1. This is what God wants: “Thank you God - I don’t understand what you are doing, but who am I? I will live maybe to 120 years. That means that my intellect is limited, but you God who are beyond time have infinite wisdom, and it is silly for me to think that I can understand everything that you do!” (It’s just like a student who doesn’t see all the demands of the ministry, but accepts that the teacher is doing everything in the right way, whether or not it fits into her schedule.)

 

2. Everything is for the Good, “If I believe that everything is coming from the One and only God, and I believe in his direct influence over all events from the tiniest to the largest, and He’s beyond time, and I see that every time I had a challenge it always worked out somehow in the end, then I can also believe that this current situation and challenge that I have is also for the good.” (In this case, the student knows that by passing this test it will allow him to take more difficult courses in the future allowing him to get a better degree and a much more high paying job!)

 

3. There is a reason for what is happening to me, “I know that God doesn’t do anything unnecessary, so whatever is going on in my own life is also a message from God. What is God trying to tell me, what is God hinting to me? Maybe through this difficulty he is giving me a clue as to what he desires from me and what I should change.” (In this case, perhaps the A+ student realizes automatically that he is easily going to put in the additional work to pass the test no matter what. But maybe God wants her to use her intellect and talents to help her classmate who is struggling with the material thereby she can help another person succeed as well!)

 

HOMEWORK:

  1. Identify which student are you? Do you trust the “Teacher” or otherwise?

 

  1. Imagine your life if you were to be that type of A+ student in your day to day circumstances. Imagine how you’d react to the day to day grind in your house and with your friends or children. How would it look like? How would your life be different for yourself and close ones?

 

  1. Try for one day to live 100% by the 3 Faith principles we mentioned above.

 

ADDITIONAL READING:

The Garden of Gratitude

In Forest Fields

My Article: The Lonely Soldier





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