Lessons from the classroom: don’t ‘guess in’ your life gaps

Mind the Gap notice London Underground
Are you ‘minding’ your life gaps or jumping straight in?

There are many different tools teachers use to assess learning, when I used to get tired of straight marking, I would pull out one of these tools from my ‘tool kit’ one great alternative was the ‘clozed activity’.  I would type out an ‘ideal’ essay, delete key content and structure words throughout the essay so that the students were left with an ideal essay which had gaps that the students then needed to fill back in.  The great thing about this activity was that it helped me to find out who knew their stuff, but it also helped the students learn what goes into making the content and structure of an ideal essay.

The process always highlighted different types of students in the classroom:

  1. those who knew their stuff and comfortably filled in the gaps – they were obviously more likely to do well in the subject.
  2. Those who didn’t know as much but were willing to pay attention, learn and put in the graft to get their grades.
  3. Those who didn’t know and who didn’t care, these students were most likely to find ways of simply ‘filling or guessing in’ the gaps and as such they often ended up with poor grades.

Why the interest in teaching all of a sudden?

Well, when I woke up this morning I thought to myself “what can I do today” ie. “what can I get busy with so that I can fill up the massive gaps in my life time and space?”  I quickly picked up my thought patterns and begin to reassess myself, I asked myself this question:

What would be the point of me ‘doing something’ just to fill in my gaps when when I have no idea what to do and even if I did, I have no idea how to do it? Continue reading

Moving from Carnal Work to Divine Rest

tranquil waters and grand moutainous planes.

In the previous post entitled Moving from Imperfect work to Perfect Fruitfulness, I looked at the concept of creativity and divine fruitfulness coming as a consequence of letting go of our carnal mindset and allowing the Holy Spirit to renew and transform our mind, this is part and parcel of the transformation that takes place as we move into and begin to enter into God’s Shabbat (Promised Rest). For a fuller understanding of what rest means and how it links to creativity and fruitfulness please see this post. This current post takes these concepts further.

Shabbat Shalom is probably my favourite phrase in the entire world, the bible generally translates these two words as ‘rest’ and ‘peace’ respectively but this does them absolutely no justice at all. Shabbat (where the English Sabbath is derived from) refers to God’s divine rest, it has always been God’s intention for mankind to permanently reside in a state of rest (Eden was the most restful place that ever existed for mankind) however, with the fall of Man and the Curse of sin mankind moved from a state and place of rest to a state and place of toil, hardship, striving and struggle otherwise known as work.

The concept of Shabbat (a true and divine experience of rest) is extremely difficult for humans to fully grasp simply because it is in opposition to the carnal mindset, we hold fast to the inheritance of the curse that man must work to survive (see Genesis) until it has now become the status quo. Anyone seen to not be ‘working’ by the sweat of their brow for their daily bread is seen as crazy, lazy or both. But is it really God’s intention for us to be struggling and striving in order to live? I definitely do not believe so. Continue reading

Moving from imperfect work to perfect fruitfulness

Why did God rest on the seventh day?  Is it because He was tired from all His work as some people have suggested?  The bible doesn’t say this at all.  Such an explanation suggests that God created the seventh day so that He could ‘recuperate’ from all of His hard work, there are many issues with this theory but I won’t go into them here.  If God wasn’t tired and didn’t really need to rest, why did He? And why did He choose to rest on the seventh day at all, why not start again on day one?

I love the explanation highlighted in the Complete Jewish Bible (CJB) based on the Hebrew text which explains that God rested so that creation could begin to produce and create of and from itself (Genesis 2:3).  God stopped working on the 6th day so that creation could start its own work on the 7th!  Think about it this way, when a parent wants to teach a child to make something quite complex and difficult what does the parent do?  A good parent would first of all show the child exactly how to create it and give the child instructions before giving him/her time and space to have a go for their self.  This is exactly what God did, first He created of and from Himself, then He gave creation (‘Be fruitful and multiply’) and mankind (Genesis 1: 28) specific instructions before allowing creation to begin to create of, in and for itself. Continue reading