Day #1–What is the “good life?” The rewarding way of living life?
By Charlotte Martin
I tend to dream. That’s just who I am. And I have way more dreams than I know what to do with. I’ve come up with everything from starting a cafe to being a professional artist to teaching English. Or maybe I could combine all of those things and have a cafe that I decorate with my artwork and teach English lessons in the back? Anyway, you see how my mind works.
So when I’m asked what the good life looks like, I have a lot of stuff to sort through.
Dreams are a little bit hard to evaluate (since of course it’s hard to know what they would look like in real life) so I will start bu evaluating the experiences I’ve already had. Which of them brought the most fulfillment and satisfaction?
My mind goes immediately to Allentown. I helped out at a kid’s club there for two years. I think of how those children would listen wide-eyed to Bible stories. Doubting at first that they were real and then a look of awe crossing their faces as they realized that we believed these stories. I think of how they would cling to us and soak up all the attention they could get because they were starved for it. I think of how they challenged me for answers or told me that they were watching me. I think of riding home after nights like that, feeling as if I had grown because of it. And maybe, just maybe, I touched a little life and brought it hope.
And then I think of the years I spent teaching school. The ways it forced me to grow, because if I had a bad attitude, my students would be sure to pick it up and emulate it. I was a role model in their lives. I could make or break their day by how I reacted to them and their actions.
I think of Jamison and Jaslyn. Both are special needs children that I worked with. They relied on me to help and teach them. And yet they taught me as well. They taught me patience and the importance of consistency. They won my heart by their total lack of pretention.
So when I think of the good life, I think of working with children. Children who are so easily influenced by those around them, therefore presenting a challenge to grow in my own life.
My next opportunity to work with children will be here in Cambodia teaching English. I’m sure there will be many challenges in teaching children who come from another culture and who speak a different language. But I’m also sure that it will be rewarding.
I don’t know where all life will lead. Maybe I’ll have another opportunity to get involved in a children’s ministry? Maybe, eventually, have children of my own? Like I said, I don’t know. But you know, it’s comforting. There never does seem to be a lack of children…