It is not the still calm of life, or in the repose of specific situation, that great characters are formed.
3-7 If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
– I Corinthians 13:4-7
The lesson? To learn a little about fortune cookies, Confucius, and how to write a fortune that has the possibility of coming true. My third graders heard fortune cookie fortunes, brought in some of their own, and received a fortune from me, sadly minus the cookie (we are not allowed to bring food to school at all for lessons, birthdays, etc.) I explained a bit about Confucius, and that early fortune cookies had both wise Chinese sayings and scripture as fortunes. I invited the children to write a fortune for someone else, their mom, their best friend, or someone outside of our school.
I had in mind a friend of mine who has a tradition of writing fortunes for her friends, and having her class write fortunes for each other. She was severely affected by Hurricane Sandy and lost her collection of fortunes. My students chose to write for my friend, knowing nothing else about her but that she was affected by the hurricane and lost all of her collected fortunes.
Their character shone as brightly as the multi-colored foil backed paper that we used to write the fortunes upon. I peaked at a few (and they did ask for spelling help,) and my suspicions were confirmed. Confucius must have listened to the children before he spoke wisdom, for surely they spoke with great wisdom in their fortunes.
The lessons learned that day happened on both sides of the desk.
Because of Him,