“Teaching is a beautiful job; as it allows you to see the growth day by day of people entrusted to your care.”
Recently my favorite teacher from elementary school reached out to me wanting to discuss the Church and her current challenges. I was so grateful to see her again because this was the teacher who set me, as a child, on a course of service. Her question to me was, “What can the ‘average lay person’ do to help?” We had a long conversation in which we shared perspectives and stories of being in the Church business. I tried to answer some of her questions and offer a few suggestions. She thanked me and shared that the conversation had helped. Having had no idea about CLI or what we would discuss prior to our meeting, she said it gave her hope simply to know what I was doing. However, with a twinge of disappointment in her voice, she admitted that she wished at her older age, she too could do something. I told her, with no exaggeration, that I was only able to do what I do now, because of what she did for me years ago. “While there’s always more we can do,” I shared with red eyes for both of us, “At least as it relates to your impact on this man’s journey in the Church, one of the biggest things you could do, you’ve already have done. And I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the only kid you taught.”
As a leader, do I measure my impact by what I do directly or can I appreciate that some of the seeds God plants through me may not flower in my lifetime? Can I appreciate that, as it relates to God’s work, my goal will never be to complete the task but rather to be sure and pass the mantle? As a result of pouring into others like my teacher did to me, who will I get to visit two decades from now? If I can impact one person half as much as she helped me, I’ll be happy with my grade.