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

Are you switched on to yourself?

Have you ever been really excited to go to a talk or a conference about a particular topic, only to get there and find out that the speakers talk about everything else other than what was expected? How did that make you feel? Frustrated, angry, annoyed, like you wasted your time in attending in the first place? Probably all of the above right? But how do you feel when you go to a meeting, conference, event and the speakers you hear are everything that you expected plus a cherry on top? Elated, surprised, invigorated, motivated, encouraged, charged up? Wow, what a contrasting set of emotions with the only difference being that the first set of speakers were ‘off-point’ whilst the second ‘on-point’.

Now think about yourself, your life, your work and ask yourself this question: “am I on or off-point?” How can we even tell whether we are or not? Difficult questions I know but if we imagine ourselves as a speaker or even better still the whole event, what type of lasting impression do we leave on ourselves, on others, on God? Are we wasting valuable time, do we feel frustrated and let down by ourselves our lives or do we feel invigorated and motivated to do and give more?

I’ll stop with the questions and get to the point of this blog post. Continue reading