“It’s funny: I always imagined when I was a kid that adults had some kind of inner toolbox full of shiny tools: the saw of discernment, the hammer of wisdom, the sandpaper of patience. But then when I grew up I found that life handed you these rusty bent old tools—friendships, prayer, conscience, honesty—and said ‘do the best you can with these, they will have to do.’ And mostly, against all odds, they do.”
— Anne Lamott, Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith
Cindy: During my life’s construction, I’ve managed to say and do a tremendous number of things I swore I never would (my list of “Things I'll never do when I’m a Parent . . .” must be with those shiny tools I never received). But anyone really handy knows that experience is the most important tool you bring. And experience means you do some things wrong and have grown enough to be able to admit it. I’ve always learned more from the mistakes I’ve made than the things I did easily. I want my kids to know that it’s okay to be wrong, okay to apologize, okay to try again.
John: The minimalist teaching toolbox: the carrot and the stick. (In Japan, it’s “the candy and the whip”—a bit more piquant and relevant to our species, maybe) Great teachers know which tool to wield—Jesus shifts quickly from sharp tongue to quiet allegory depending on the audience, their mood, time of day, etc. I hope my kids have learned good things from me. And I pray for awareness, understanding, and openness to learning. Learning THROUGH teaching. God knows my kids have taught me a lot.
Eternal God, you are our rock, our refuge, our salvation. Grant us the wisdom to be teachers, and to be taught.