I have been teaching Roy's Theology of the Body for Teens class this year since he had to bail when duty called. There are a wealth of concerns that a family must deal with when a spouse comes home after a year. This TOB class will be my #1 concern. I love it and don't want to give it up!! What are we going to do?! In the mean time, I will continue to teach and put my whole heart into it. The past few weeks, our class has been working on self-donation....the complete giving of your whole self to someone else. Each student is to find someone to give 2-3 hours of their time serving and doing everything the other person wants them to do. Last year, one of Roy's students, Annika, had a water gun fight with her little brother in dead of Winter. That is what he wanted to do and that is what she did.
I thought I would be a good teacher and do this assignment myself. I mean, really devote a couple hours to one person for the entire time. This was much more difficult than I thought it would be. Max and I decided to ride our bikes together. This would be perfect! Just the two of us! No distractions! This could be my 2 hours. I knew this would be a piece of cake.
Well? It was not as easy as I thought. He wants to take a different route to our normal biking trail that includes an ugly hill (actually, its a slope to some people. Bring out your level and I'll show you. Its an upward slope! aka, ugly hill). I say, "Whats wrong with the way we normally go?" Then I remember my assignment..."Wait! No. We will take this new way."
He stops very shortly after we get on our trail because he finds a hiking path. "Max, we just got started. Lets ride some more." There I go again! "No. No. Here I come. I would love to go down the trail with you."
With mud and rocks and jumping live objects, Max says, "Mom, come over here and look at all these tiny frogs."
"Its OK Max, I can see them from here." UGH!! "Here I come."
"Mom, look at this long snake!!"
"No way. I hate snakes." Geez!!!! This was supposed to be easy!! "Here I come."
I believe that I failed at my attempt to be a total gift to Max for these couple hours. Yes, I remembered my assignment, brought myself back and focused but why did I have to do that so many times? I believe that I truly never really had the habit of being a total gift. I am trying to train my TOB students to be a gift ALL the time. Not just for this one assignment. I want them to see it, feel it, know that they are doing it and make it a part of their everyday life. Is this what I am doing? It's time to try again.
"Mommy!! Swing me!"
"You know how to pump. You can do it."
Really?? "Here I come."
"Mom? When are you going to grade my Algebra?"
"Can't you grade it yourself?" <eyeroll> "Here I come."
"Mom? Are you the only one that is going to eat dinner?"
"I fed you yesterday!!" Fine, "Here I come."
"Mom? Can I tell you my dream?"
"Sure. Wait till I change the baby's diaper." Pause and smile, "Of course. Here I come."
My most favorite motto is, "Your interruptions are your life's most important work." This is so true. If I could just get that motto bobbing in front of my eyes at all times, I would not be drifting off my path so frequently. Wouldn't it be nice to stay the course for longer periods of time? So, how can this be done? I am trying to get through to my TOB students that they are in the training period of their lives right now. They are training themselves in chastity. Training themselves in faithfulness. Training to be a total gift of themselves so they can be willing and ready to give themselves freely, totally, faithfully and fruitfully to their spouse...holding nothing back.
So, what about their teacher? It is by the grace of God that my life is as pure and full of love that it is. I can't imagine how much more rich my life will be when I train myself the way I am asking my students to. I can train this old dog with a new trick. I can. My husband is gone and I can be free to give of myself to everyone around me if I can keep my eye on the ball. When he comes back, it will be a honeymoon that is more pleasing to God than our first.