It’s been a huge term. There have been so many meetings to prepare for, tasks to complete, reports to write, parents to appease, student issues to resolve and personal matters to attend to… and all of that before our core business of teaching and learning.
When the pressure builds up we can easily find ourselves rushing from one thing to the other. Instead of being truly present in the moment we find ourselves fixating on the past and worrying about the future – who said we couldn’t multitask?! It’s in these moments of rushing without being fully present that we don’t always make the best decisions, particularly in the way we treat each other. Instead of noticing the good in others we start to focus on their imperfections which only add to our already heightened stress. In turn we send a quick terse email, make a sharp comment, avoid saying hello, not follow through on what we said we would do.
The opening two chapters of the Bible talk about how God carefully and intentionally created the world. The remaining 1,187 chapters help us to see how we join in the ongoing creation and care of the world and all people.
During the creation process we are told, ‘God created mankind in his image, in the image of God he created them’ (Genesis 1:27). This verse reminds us that we aren’t accidents of nature. Rather, we are carefully and intentionally created, which in turn, gives us a sense of innate worth. If this is true for ourselves, then it is also true of everyone else. In service learning we call this innate human dignity – that no matter how different or confronting the people we serve may be, that they are still people of great worth and should be respected as such.
Innate human dignity. That’s a good concept to keep in mind when we are rushed and under pressure. Yes, we may be pushed for time, but the people we interact with are exactly that- people made in the image of God and therefore to be respected and treated with innate human dignity. Hence they are worth more than a terse email or a sharp comment. They are worth taking time to greet and following through with what we promised.
May God grant each of us the grace to remember how special we are in his eyes, how special those around us are in his eyes, and the desire to treat them as such, even when we are pushed for time.
Spiritual & Cultural Leader