Emily Belle Freeman
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THIS IS MY JOY

AND MY GREAT REJOICING

Of Worth

Living Deliberately

I think we may have talked about this before, but in case we haven't I need to explain to you that I teach early morning seminary.

It has been my calling this year.

Words cannot express how much I have enjoyed it.

But have you ever had a calling when you wonder if you are making any difference at all?  Sometimes I erase the board, turn out the lights, lock the doors and walk to my car wondering if what I am doing is of any worth...

Today, in a round about way, that question was answered.

The story really began several months ago.

We were studying the parable of the great supper found in Luke 14, "A certain man made a great supper, and bade many..."

You remember the story.  Nobody came.  They made excuses.  They had other places to be.

We paused in the lesson and I asked the kids, "What keeps you from feasting with the Lord?"

"Do you partake from His feast daily?  How?"

"Do you accept the Lord's invitation?"

We talked about this for some time and then we read the next verse, "Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind..." (Luke 14:21)

I asked my kids, "Who are these people?  Where do we find them?  How do we extend them the Lord's invitation?"

Then I asked a question that received an answer I will never forget, "Who could you invite to the great supper?"

I will be honest, I asked it figuratively...not really expecting an answer.

One boy raised his hand, "Dakota," he said simply.

"Ya," another chimed in, "we should invite Dakota!"

First, I wondered if they realized we weren't really having a great supper.  Second, I wondered who in the world Dakota was.

So I asked.

"Who is Dakota?"

"This boy in our school.  Seminary would be good for him.  We really should invite him to come."

And so they did.  Literally.  After all, I learned, there wasn't really anything figurative about this lesson.

And he came.

For several weeks, and almost months.

He would sit there on the second row, with shaggy hair hanging over his eyes.  Every so often he would push it out of the way so I could see him there.  His eyes full of pondering.

At school he was a trouble maker, that's what the kids said.

But at seminary he was thoughtful.

Then he left the school.  And he didn't come back to early morning seminary.

Today I cleaned out the filing cabinet.

I went through the stuff to see what needed to be kept, what needed to be returned to the students, and what could be thrown out.

It was as I was looking through the folders that I came upon the one with his name written on the front.

I really didn't need to look inside, because I probably won't ever see him again, and I knew I wouldn't be able to return it.  But I opened the folder anyway.

I am so glad I did.

I don't know when he wrote the note there on the left hand side.

I wonder if he knew when he wrote it that he wouldn't be returning.

But I do know this, when I walked to my car this morning after erasing the board, turning out the lights, and locking the building I was so grateful for the opportunity that is mine to teach early morning seminary.

Because for a few weeks and almost months it made a difference in a small way to one boy.

Oh, I love that kid.

Deliberate Discipleship:

I don't know what your calling is right now, but I do know this...there is someone within your circle of influence who you can influence for good.  Pray that the Lord will help you to accomplish His work.

Because even on the days when you wonder if what you are doing is of any worth, with the Lord's help you can make a difference.