Wednesday, February 1, 2012

...Whatever is Noble...

Whatever is True Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

I have no difficulty picturing nobility.  I have significant difficulty putting words to that picture.  Essentially, "noble" is "of an exalted moral or mental character or excellence."

On a daily basis, I see students who come from desperately broken homes.  I don't mean they are children of divorce.  I mean they live in homes with people who cannot even spell the word functional.  I see addiction in a hundred different forms--drug abuse, alcohol, cutting, etc.  I see unplanned pregnancy and uneducated choices.  I see people who are hurting and without resources.

But despite all of those things, I think the best part of me comes as the result of my students.  They will teach if people are willing to learn.  They will show if we are willing to see.  And they will definitely talk if we are willing to listen.  

At the beginning of the year, I gave every class their choice of writing prompts.  Every prompt comes back to the same basic principle:  tell me about yourself.  One of the prompts asked students to explain something they were learning/had learned.  I almost choked on my coffee when I read one response (my paraphrase despite the quotes):
"This year, I'm learning about humility.  My dad says it's a lifetime process, but I really want to learn what I can about being humble now."
At fifteen, she gets it, and I think that's excellence of character at its best.

I've watched her since that day in August, and I've noticed a couple of other things about her character.  She consistently treats others with dignity and kindness.  She takes responsibility for her mistakes, owns the consequences of those mistakes and continuously asks for forgiveness or pardon.

She's fifteen, and I want to be her when I grow up.

I don't know what she will accomplish when she is 30.  I do know that God is using her now.  Because she aspires to moral excellence, He is taking her down roads most of us don't navigate for another 5-10 years.  Does it mean she's reached perfection?  Unlikely.  And also unnecessary.  God doesn't ask for perfection; He asks for a willing heart.

And if a willing heart isn't noble, I don't know what is.

Whatever Is Noble Part 2

1 comment:

J said...

I am loving this series! Nobility is a hard one for me--I get true, right, pure, but have a harder time picturing nobility. So thanks for this!