What a difference a day makes

Now while I know that Monday is no one’s idea of a laugh, mine this week was exceptionally bad. Well, it was for me. My students were in absolutely foul moods, no one wanted to learn or make any efforts to work. Some of them got sent out of lessons on purpose. Rudeness, defiance, phone calls to parents and a big dollop of teenage hormones meant that Monday couldn’t be over quick enough for me. The thing is, EVERYONE knew it. A couple of my little darlings saw the aftermath of my midday toilet tears and my line manager caught the wrath of my “do something, NOW!” type email. On reflection , that definitely shouldn’t have been the case.

However, anyone telling me to “calm down” or “not let it get to me” while I argued with a 15 year old for (literally) twenty minutes about taking off his cap, would have probably received a similar type of treatment. I was at my wits end, I was emotionally drained and I felt like my feelings were entirely justified. Perhaps they were. However, my line of work doesn’t really accommodate for break downs, and the truth is, no one’s does. Some people are more thick skinned than most, and would eat Monday’s like mine for breakfast. Others wouldn’t even dare to work in my kind of environment for fear of (their) arrest…

Tuesday was only marginally better. What followed were; numerous parent phone calls and a meeting with one mother, a pep talk from myself and some senior staff topped off with a bit of a scare from the behaviour manager on Wednesday. Fast forward now to Thursday. They were like different students. They were pleasant, asked sensible questions and worked hard. I publicly recognised their efforts and you could tell they were pleased with themselves. I could, once again sense that they did actually care about doing well and I was instantly refreshed. I was thankful for the very same job, which I wanted to walk out of on Monday afternoon.

Something about this didn’t seem right to me. The fact that one day I could be reduced to tears by 8 hormonal teenagers and just a few days later I was so immensely proud of them. During this week my husband and I have been finishing off the book of Philippians and something in Chapter 4 really struck me. Read it here. A few things stand out for me in this passage. One- Paul was content. Not ‘just about bearing it’ or 'hanging in there’, but content. Also, his main problems included shipwrecks, beatings and imprisonment… not 8 teenagers. Reality check. Another thing I noticed is that him 'abounding’ (whatever that may have looked like) produced in him, the same emotion as 'being brought low’ did. Paul didn’t have any emotional high from an excellent circumstance, he was just continually content. His foundation was in an unshakeable God, which meant he wasn’t glowing with pride when he recruited his most recent disciples for Christ, nor was he weeping at the fact he was in prison for the millionth time. What unshakeable faith.

This week I was reminded of the fact that sometimes life is difficult and challenging. It is also rewarding and enjoyable. I was also reminded that, leaning on something a little more stable than my emotions is an excellent place to live it.