My devotional life is not what it should be. I don’t read my Bible every day, I don’t do personal devotions every day, I don’t spend quiet time with the Lord every day.
I do pray every day, but I confess that many times my prayers are more about what I want from God, rather than thanking him for his many blessings to me.
I am not proud of this sinful omission in my life.
However, I have been blessed with an unexpected opportunity for some time to ponder the goodness of God on a regular basis (outside of church). I teach music class twice a week for grades 1-5 in our small school. I teach grades 1-2 and grades 3-5 for 45 minutes each. The first 30 minutes of class I spend doing various musical concepts, but the last 15 minutes of class I spend doing hymnology (the study of hymns). I choose one hymn that will be sung in the church service on the upcoming Sunday, and I teach it to the children. We read a verse together, then I take time to explain the poetry, and then we sing it a few times. The kids seem to like it. If there’s time at the end, the kids choose some of their favorite hymns and we sing them, too.
I have found that singing hymns with school kids is devotional for me. Not only do I sing the same verses over and over during the two classes, but I talk through the meaning of the hymn with the students. Explaining and discussing these spiritual concepts are similar to doing a devotion for the kids, but it’s just as devotional for me. There have been many times when the beauty of a hymn and/or the meaningfulness of a concept in the hymn’s words has choked me up a bit, and I’ve had to quickly brush away tears from my eyes before the students noticed them.
I don’t always like teaching these music classes. I am teaching these “out of the goodness of my heart,” but I confess my heart doesn’t always feel very good about it. But, I know it’s the right thing to do, and it helps our school teachers out, so I try to not listen to my mental complaining. Yet, I’m seeing the personal benefits of doing these classes, benefits that far outweigh the lack of monetary compensation. My Old Eve is hard at work trying to convince me to spend the time for myself, but my New Woman delights in this “scheduled” devotional time.
I’m thankful for this opportunity.