Monday, August 20, 2012

The Best Time of the Year?

By Tracy Astle

It's that time of year again. New backpacks, new clothes, new schedules. What is it that's so fun about buying new school supplies? They have such cute notebooks, binders, pens, pencils, locker accessories and so much more these days that I could easily spend my way into oblivion if I wasn't careful. Odd considering shopping is pretty far down my list of favorite activites - unless I'm in a book store or office supply store and I have a lot of time to wander lazily through the aisles in a state of stupified contentment. Yes, I'm weird, but I know I'm not the only one.

Does anyone else remember that commercial for Staples, I think it was, where the parents are dancing around the store, gliding on shopping carts, singing It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year? Love that one. It makes me laugh every time. I agree that in many ways it is the most wonderful time of the year, but I think that for a different reason than the commercial presents.

For me the very best thing about school starting every year is that seminary starts at the same time. (BTW, why is it that schools starts a little earlier every year? Pretty soon we're going to end up with a long weekend as "summer break.") Where I live, this religion class for high school students is held before school. This year marks the start of my seventh year of teaching.

There are very few things that require so much of my time, my energy and my mental and spiritual focus as seminary. It really is exhausting on so many levels.

However -

Almost nothing can compare to starting each school morning with a roomful of freshmen who are committed to learning and living what they believe in. Oh man, is it thrilling and envigorating to see the quality of these youth who will lead us into the next generation. On the surface many of them look a lot like any other teenager walking the halls of the schools, but in their hearts they are quite different from most of their peers. They have direction and understanding way beyond the norm for their age. Go, them!

I honestly feel sorry for anyone who never has the opportunity to teach seminary. Obviously, this way that  I get to serve makes my heart sing. Yes, I understand that this is another thing that some people think makes me weird.  ; )

It also makes me wonder - what, aside from writing, of course, makes your heart sing like this?

2 comments:

  1. I've always wanted the opportunity to teach seminary...so I don't think you are weird at all. I know I would learn so much -- not just from preparing, but from the students. Watching the "light" go on when a student "gets it" for the first time makes my heart sing. great post! thanks! hugs~

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  2. I taught Early Morning Seminary for two years and, even not being a morning person, it was the best two years of my life. Never before or after have I delved into the scriptures with such determination, and never have I learned so much as when I taught the scriptures in seminary. How blessed I was to teach and learn about the life of Christ in the New Testament; how wonderful it was to discover all the voices in the Book of Mormon. Since the Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion, I learned to have a testimony of that book is the gateway to a testimony that Joseph Smith is a prophet, President Monson is our living prophet, Jesus Christ is our Savior, Heavenly Father loves us and has a plan for us--and this church is true.
    I'm jealous ♥

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