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DOUG CREAMER: Back to school

It seems like summer barely begins and they are running back-to-school ads on television. Teachers and students need a break and time to be refreshed before the new year begins. The last

Doug Creamer writes a religion column for the SNAP.

couple of years have been challenging for teachers and students with the pandemic. The hope is that we will have a more normal school year this year. With the Delta variant spreading fast, school systems are announcing masking requirements. Let’s hope it works so students can be in school with their teachers and classmates.

When school let out this year I caught up with a former colleague to see how his school year went. We talked for several hours, and he shared about the impact of COVID on sports and the classroom. It was amazing to hear how cooperative the students were about wearing masks. The students preferred to be in school, so wearing a mask was by far better than taking classes virtually.

It was so good to hear about my former colleagues from East Davidson. I miss being at school and around the students. It is also interesting to hear about leadership changes around the county. My friend concluded that I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed teaching the last two years with the pandemic, and I am afraid he is probably right.

My friend is a coach so I asked how that worked out. Outdoor sports worked better than indoor sports. The seasons were moved around because of the pandemic. Most of the sporting events did not allow for spectators, which had to be different for the student athletes.

I like to listen to my friend share his coaching philosophies and techniques. He has a unique approach to coaching which has led to growth and successful seasons. There are always those tough years when all your best athletes graduate and you have a young team. Being a coach is a challenge, because you have to help students think about the good of the team and not just individual performances. You also have to help students through personal challenges.

Listening to him share reminded me why I liked sponsoring DECA. You can only connect with students at a certain level in the classroom. When you take students off to DECA events you have the opportunity to get to know them better and to share more of yourself with them. It’s also great when you can help students win competitive events and teach them how to handle losses. These life lessons are different from classroom instruction.

Students in high school do not realize that learning is a lifelong process. Some think that when they graduate from school they will know everything. I learned more during my first year of teaching than in four years of college. Learning is an ongoing process in our personal, professional, and spiritual lives. Even now I realize there is so much more to learn.

I am constantly trying to grow spiritually. I have lost count of how many times I have read the Bible, yet it seems that every day something new jumps off the pages at me. I get new insights, new perspectives and my journey with God deepens. God is so big and infinite and our minds are so small and finite that no one could possibly know everything about God.

We don’t get to graduate from our spiritual school until the day we go home to be with the Lord. Something inside of me says that even then our learning will not end. I think that even in eternity there will be things about God and His ways that we will be learning. He is awesome, too marvelous for words. His ways we can’t even fathom.

There are many ways you can learn about God. The first place to begin is reading His love letter to you, the Bible. Next, connect personally with God through prayer and talking with Him. You can also learn a great deal about God through other people’s experiences with God. He reveals Himself uniquely to each of us and that different perspective allows us to learn more about Him.

I want to encourage you to get yourself ready to go back to spiritual school. There are always new things to learn about Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit. We each have a limited knowledge and perspective on God. That means we need to keep working, growing, and maturing in our walk with God. This school never closes and the teacher is great.

Doug Creamer has a new book at Amazon: “EncouragingU: Summer Stories.” Contact him at PO Box 777, Faith, NC 28041or doug@dougcreamer.com