Comfortless zone

Published 10:18 pm Thursday, February 12, 2009

I’m pretty sure God likes to see us moved out of our comfort zones.

Maybe He likes to see us perform under pressure. Maybe we reveal something unique about ourselves when we’re traveling uncharted waters. Perhaps He just wants to see us in situations where we can’t rely on ourselves and are forced to lean on Him.

Maybe He’s just got a slightly twisted sense of humor. If so, I’m sure he was laughing at me on Tuesday. Or at least laughing with me — I’m pretty sure God’s not the type of person to take pleasure in someone’s pain.

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And pain is just what I was feeling as I drove into the parking lot at King’s Fork High School. I’d prayed much of the day for something to deliver me from the commitment I’d made several weeks earlier to speak to a journalism class and the newspaper club that day. But with blue skies and temperatures in the 60s, not even a snowless snow day intervened to derail the plan.

Leaving my car in the visitors’ lot at KFHS, I shook my head as I walked to the building. Despite my growing dread over the prospect, I would soon be leading two classes in discussions about newspapers and journalism.

Would the students be bored? Were my preparations sufficient? Would I seem like a fool to them? Why in the world would a 44-year-old newspaper editor be so worried about what a bunch of teenagers thought of him, anyway?

Well, some were bored, but not all of them. I’m telling myself that such is probably the lot of most teachers. I was, indeed, adequately prepared, though I wished I’d had more time for the hands-on activities I’d planned. Again, I think I’ve heard actual teachers with similar complaints about the time they have to reach their students.

As for being a fool, you’d have to ask the students, themselves. There were a couple who I’m pretty sure consider anyone over 23 to be fools, but I’m not worried about them, and it turns out that I have a trick or two up my sleeve for dealing with such disruptiveness.

As it happens, I suppose I didn’t really care what they’d think. More accurately, I didn’t have any real reason to worry. Everything went fine. My wife will love that — it’s what she said all along.

I know I’m hearing laughter from our house right now, but is that laughter I’m hearing from above, as well?