“And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” ~Romans 5:3-5
Not all of this work is sunshiney happiness and roses floating in the background. Sometimes we don’t want to wake up, get up, teach, smile, be happy, be patient, be understanding, tolerate our differences, say the kind words, encourage and praise, make the effort, do hard things, and above all show love to one another.
But it’s so necessary. I remind myself every time I want to blow that it will cause much more damage than I want to repair, and that much anger can be averted by gentle words. I fail a lot. I get tired, irritable, irascible, annoyed, lazy, fed up, and every other nasty thing I could be.
However, I think that this time of testing is fantastic. I get a little excited every time I have to endure something I don’t like, because I feel like every time I do the right thing, a little party is going on inside my soul. I’m growing! I’m showing good character! I’m learning self-control!
When I’m tired or irritable, I have to remind myself why I’m here; to love the people of Taiwan, kids, teachers, even my team-mates, with God’s love. So it doesn’t matter what I feel. I have to be joyful to love them and bless them. To make their lives and burdens easier, I have to be strong and happy and helpful.
When I’m stressed, I have to remind myself that in the end, it doesn’t matter so long as I gave my best. If the kids don’t remember a word of English, but smile when they see me, I will have succeeded. One lesson is not going to be the end of the world if it falls flat.
Sometimes I have to remind myself that my time is not my own, that I am here to work, and that I should be always joyful, even if I don’t feel happy. Sometimes I need to bang my head against the wall to remind myself of all this.
Sometimes you just gotta hang out and let loose.