One of the lessons I’ve been learning lately is how to stay completely in the present. Fr. Joe has been reminding me that the Devil wants to keep us living in the past or the future, for both distract us from what we should be doing in the now. They also make life a series of tasks, only necessary in order to get to tomorrow.
Learning how to live in the present is an immediately applicable and daily skill, for my entire job centers around individual piano lessons with children. Every day, I teach around 6-10 lessons, and I’m not going to lie, it’s not always fun. Kids don’t realize that their lack of practice also makes the lesson miserable for the teacher! And if I’m not careful, I find myself counting down the minutes until the next lesson.
The other day, all of a sudden it hit me. Each lesson may just be one of many that day for me, but for the kid? For most of them, this lesson is the highlight of their week. They’ve been looking forward to this 1/2 hour for the past 7 days. What right do I have to treat them like a task, like one more lesson to get through?
So my new goal is to begin each day with a prayer for each of the children I am going to visit, and pray that I can minister to them by being in the moment, ready to serve them with whatever individualized explanations or demonstrations they are going to need that day. It helps, because this also makes the lessons more enjoyable. Each lesson is like a problem to be solved– how can I communicate this in such a way that it enlightens and engages the child, as opposed to overwhelming, boring, or frustrating them?
It feels good to treat things this way, to prepare properly. I feel that I am making a difference in these children’s lives.
It’s also easy for me to see why the Devil wouldn’t want this.