My World as a 5th Grader
The world of a fifth grader is vivid and real…at least it was for me. I had an attention span of two minutes, an impulse to do about anything on a dare and that which motivated me was self-centered and shallow. I am pretty sure I was that boy you did not want your child sitting next to in class.
While Dad was out of the country with the military, Mom worked hard to feed, care for and corral all five of her kids. He was not there, but my life was not devoid of positive male influence. Two men were very special to me that year, Mr. Harper, my school teacher, and Mr. Black, my Sunday School teacher. Both of these men encouraged me, corrected me and spoke into me in ways that are still evident in my life.
Mr. Harper, fifth-grade teacher at Valley View Elementary, was the first adult, outside my family, who told me that I was good at something and that one day I would be great at it. He recognized a gift in me to see beauty and recreate that beauty in art. He would say to other teachers, “Here, Jay, draw something on the board. One day Jay will be a great artist!” Wow, me? Really?
While Mr. Harper inspired me to do something with my life, Mr. Black inspired me to invest in my walk with Christ. I would like to say he took me into his care and discipled and mentored me in my spiritual journey, but that was not exactly the way he motivated me. Remember, I was a fifth-grade boy. The result of Mr. Black’s influence was that I dove into God’s Word hungrily memorizing as many passages as possible. There were Sundays our family stayed home from church because a sibling was sick that I rode my bike to church. I was not missing any opportunity to get to church to share what I had learned. “So,” you ask, “what amazing spiritual giftedness did Mr. Black possess? What was the secret that whetted the young appetites of fifth-grade boys for God’s Word?”
Remember again, I was a fifth-grade boy. You might have guessed it. Mr. Black offered the boy who memorized the most scripture a brand new Daisy Red Ryder BB Gun. “Did I win it?” you ask. I still own that wonderful treasure.
The greatest treasure is the lasting blessing of God’s Word. Those scriptures are with me still. I still hunger to know God better, but now my motives are the presence, power, provision, and peace of God.
Time with God and his Word will provide treasure beyond anything you have ever or will ever possess!
1. How do you address the hunger for God’s righteousness?
2. How can you be more intentional about time in scripture and prayer?
3. What fifth-grade boy or girl are you investing in?
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