In Science, we have been studying rocks! We have learned that rocks actually do change. Through weathering and erosion, the surface of a rock can be smoothed down or rubbed away. Through earthquakes and tornadoes, landslides and glaciers, rocks actually do move from place to place. Through study of the Rock Cycle, we learned that rocks do change. Yet, we understand the idea, the metaphor that Jesus is our Rock. He is our Firm Foundation.
After our discussion, I gave students time to pray, reflect, and write about what they experienced today in Chapel. We took time to write in our Science logbooks a prayer or a "blog" to God. Thanking him for the promises he gives us. I played some some Christian songs in the background and students found a quiet spot in the room just to be. I have to admit, the quiet time was not totally quiet. I was trying to do my reflecting along with the students but was distracted by talking, nose blowing, and coughing around the room. After the first song, we stopped, shared some ideas and then tried again. When quiet time was finished, the students each wrote their name on a rock as a reminder that Jesus is our Rock. We left the rocks on display in the classroom as a visual reminder. As the students left the classroom for recess, I felt a little down. The wonderful, peaceful experience that I was hoping for fell flat... I was feeling empty and frustrated.
Over the weekend, I prayed over this experience trying to think about ways that I could model Jesus' promises and encourage students to reflect on the wonderful gift of Jesus as our Rock. I thought more about our rocks and decided that each day, we would choose one rock and pray a special blessing on that student and for our day. We would make this the first thing we do when I start my teaching day at 11:30.
On Monday morning, the students came back from P.E. class hot and sweaty. It had been a free day! What fun! They began taking their Science logbooks out of their desk, without prompting from me. As they did so, several students looked back at the "blogs" they had written last week, their prayer writing. I heard, "Are we going to write prayers again today? I loved doing that. It was my favorite part of the day." Other students chimed in with agreement. Really? A lesson that I thought had fallen flat was coming back to life. Should I be surprised? No, not really. Isn't that what I had been praying for? God answers prayers. I told the students that we would not be writing prayers today but instead using our prayer rocks to bless a student in our classroom. And we did. While it was bit awkward for Maleya to stand up front while we prayed a blessing on her and for our day at school, I am confident that it was a great way to start our day together. I am looking forward to seeing where God will take us as we stand firm on his foundation each day.