For day two of the challenge, I’m going to use a personal quote – not one that’s out there to be researched or scrutinized. Lillian the Home Poet reminded me of it yesterday, and since it sort of continues the conversation on gifts and identity, I decided that it must be shared.
One of the best teachers I ever had was Annabelle Timms, a ballet teacher. I drove an hour each way to be able to attend her classes and it was so worth it.
On one day in particular she pushed us very hard and every time I started to feel as if I was doing something right, she devastated me with a correction of something I hadn’t even noticed I was doing wrong.
I started second guessing myself and looking at some of the other girls in class to see if I could tell the difference. That only gained a correction for not focusing.
It just seemed to snowball. By the end of class, my bleeding toes were a mirror to my heart. I was crying mad, frustrated and flattened. I took an extra long time getting ready to leave because I was trying so hard not to cry – I couldn’t walk back through the studio and let her see tears.
No luck there – she found me in the dressing room and let me know that she understood. I didn’t get it – how could she understand and still put me through that misery?
That’s when she said, “Heather, I correct you because you are worth correcting.”
I had never heard something like that before. And to be honest I still don’t take most correction well nor do I even want to. But I do sometimes hear the echo of her voice when I’m trying particularly hard to understand why my best doesn’t seem to be good enough.
And, I have often quoted her to my own students – when they need it. It’s hard for advanced students, who are often praised for their mere existence in a classroom rather than any particular effort they have displayed, to hear that there are improvements that can be made in their work. They aren’t used to having someone take a truly critical look at their work. They have never had someone tell them they aren’t good just because they are breathing, but that they are good enough to encourage toward something even more.
It is a hard lesson, but it’s worth learning.
It seems God wants us to understand this too:
And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says, “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.” Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed. (Hebrews 12:5-13 NIV)
We are worth correcting. Not because of our abilities or skills, but because we, by grace through faith, have been saved and therefore adopted into His family.
What areas of your life are worth correcting today?
I pray that we may find the ability to discipline ourselves in areas where we have already received instruction, not forgetting what we have already been taught; and that we are able to stand under the correction that may come in new areas, showing ourselves to be true sons and daughters who are grateful for our Father’s loving guidance.