Vincent has not wanted to go to band rehearsal for the past couple of months. At his school band is twice a week during another one of his class periods. He has used the excuse that he needed to stay in English or Math and so I’ve let it slide. Last week he didn’t go at all so this week John and I told him he needed to go to make up band on Tues.
As soon as the words came out of my mouth his demeanor changed. Grumy is putting it lightly. After ten minutes of debating it came out that the real reason he was missing was because His teacher always yells and is impatient with the students. We tried to explain to him that although his teacher may be “mean” we don’t know what issues the teacher may be going through personally and that it was still important for him to follow through and go to band (unless his teacher was being verbally abusive). There are going to be difficult people throughout our entire life and sometimes we need to suck it up and press on.
As we got to school I knew he was not looking forward to first period and so as we pulled in the driveway I began a prayer out loud “Dear Lord, please give Vincent peace today and please let Mr (nameless) be merciful with his students. Help band to go smoothly and give Vincent the courage to face this situation.”
Even as we pulled away I wasn’t entirely convinced that this teacher wouldn’t make an example of Vincent seeing as how he missed band for the past several weeks. I just quietly asked the Lord to give him grace for the day and I went off to work.
It was absolutely the Holy Spirit that urged me to pray out loud with him at school that morning. I typically would have educated him and explained to him about life and responsibilities. I would have been all rational and would have completely forgot the spiritual.
How is it that those of us who love God so deeply forget at times to turn our own kids to him in their time of trouble? We become our children’s savior by no fault of their own. We rescue, work it out, take away the pain through our efforts, more often than I care to admit.
I’m being reminded that the most important thing I can teach my kids are not about responsibility or commitments, which are all well and good lessons, but the most important things for me to teach them is love and prayer.
Elder Ephraim of Arizona says “My children, always remember Jesus so that in all your weaknesses you may find the appropriate medicine. Are you in pain? By calling on Jesus you will find relief and enlightenment. Are you in affliction? Call on Jesus and behold, consolation will dawn in the realm of your heart. Are you overcome by discouragement? Do not neglect to set your hopes on Jesus, and your soul will be filled with courage and strength. . . Let us pray to be granted knowledge and patience in life’s miseries, so that we may gain salvation.”
When I spoke to Vincent later in the day I asked him how band was and to my faithless surprise he said it went good. No yelling. No impatience or unkind words. His teacher even complimented his playing.
A lesson for him? Yes
An even bigger lesson for me? Absolutely