There’s a well-known book that was written several years ago called, “Everything I need to know I learned in Kindergarten.” Well, after working there for 2 years, I would argue that “Everything I Need to Know I can Learn in Special Ed. Pre-School.” I have a whole list of articles I plan to write based on said topics. One of my favorite refrains that was heard in every classroom throughout a typical day was “Do your job.” A common scenario might look something like this: Line of 12 pre-schoolers attempting to get to the library from the classroom. One child ( or seven) is pushing/shoving/pinching/poking/licking their “neighbor”. The teacher stops the line and walks to this child and squats down until she is eyeball to eyeball with this adorable hooligan. With all the calmness she can muster but using her “I mean business” tone, she says, “I need for you to DO. YOUR. JOB.” They are smarter than the rest of us. They know exactly what their job is and that they are presently NOT doing it. If only I were as clear on MY job as a human being. The thing is, the God who gave me my “human-being-ness” is crystal clear on this. I have somehow just complicated it to the point where even though my goal is to get to the library without incident, I am instead “pushing/shoving/pinching/poking/licking my neighbor.”
As far as I can tell, God says my JOB is to “love God with all my heart, all my soul, and all my might and to love my neighbor as I love myself” (Deuteronomy 6:5 and Mark 12:30). This sums up the whole purpose of life. If I focus on doing my job, all the other things will fall into place. My behavior will be loving, kind, selfless, noble, encouraging, etc. All the details of walking around in this world will take care of themselves and life will be lived in simple trust. I know it may sound naive and childish, but we also know it’s harder to practice than we think. We feel more important and smart if we try to live life like we are in the Doctorate program at Harvard. We don’t want to admit that we haven’t mastered the Special Ed. Pre-school skills and will probably be working on those skills for the rest of our lives. Loving God and others with all our heart, soul, mind and strength is a BIG JOB.
And while we are on the topic, notice the word YOUR in “Do YOUR job. ” I have spent A LOT of time and energy trying to do SOMEONE ELSE’S job. Or worse yet, making it MY JOB to make sure others are doing THEIR job. God tells me to “mind” our OWN business, not other people’s business. What a relief to finally BELIEVE what God says. He is squatting down, looking me eyeball to eyeball, and saying, “Sweet child, Relax. I’ve got this. You, DO. YOUR. JOB.”