By Kristen Montgomery, 5th Grade Teacher
Regardless of the route I take, everyday I pass a cemetery on my way to and from work. Each morning and evening, I’m reminded how short our time is. It makes me wonder—how am I using the time I’ve been given?
When I stand before God, I won’t regret that I didn’t follow a perfect exercise plan. I won’t be sorry I didn’t go to Hawaii before I died. I won’t wish I had driven a sportier car. I won’t hope God says, “Thou hast kept thine apartment clean, enter into the joy of thy Master!” Those are the mortal badges and treasures which moth and rust destroy.
I think God will talk to me about the immortals in my life. C.S. Lewis once said, “You have never met a mere mortal. Everyone you have ever come in contact with, you’ve traded with, you’ve argued with, every one of them is either an immortal horror or an everlasting splendor, but you have never met a mere mortal.”
We often forget that children have full, adult-sized, immortal souls—the same souls they will use to make eternal decisions. What I say to my students today influences the choices they make as adults. If I represent Christ in my words and actions, my students could become “everlasting splendors” who glorify and enjoy God. If I only go through the daily routine of working at a Christian school without focusing on and reflecting Christ, I could be pushing my students to become “immortal horrors” with bleak eternal futures.
Gone in the Blink of an Eye
This summer I went to the Yad Vashem, the Israeli Holocaust museum. An exhibit about Jewish teachers caught my eye. On a video, a Holocaust survivor described how teachers took roll call during the early parts of Nazi occupation. Each day, more students were absent, gone in the blink of an eye. The teachers would ask, “Does anyone know if Hannah is sick today or has she been taken?” This display haunted me—how would I feel if one of my students disappeared forever? Would I wish I hadn’t said or done something? Would I wish I had said or done other things? I pushed the sickening image away. We live in twenty-first century America! Students aren’t just gone in the blink of an eye. In September, a close family friend of mine, a boy the age of my students, was hit by a car and died instantly. He was gone in the blink of an eye.
God gives us many opportunities to impact immortals. How do you treat the immortal horrors or everlasting splendors you meet on a daily basis? Let’s pray God never lets us forget how little time we’ve been given with the immortal souls in our lives.