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January 27, 2014


A tutor. That’s me. Even typing it seems funny. For years we did tutoring at New Heights Church but it was never me. So I went to the Opportunity School and offered my help. Whatever they needed. They came up with tutor. It gets better. You see when they offered tutoring I said that should be fine in anything but math.

I’m not very good at math. I still remember going to special math class in the 5th grade. During regular math the special math teacher would come by our class and pick up a few of the students. I was one of those students. The class was at the end of a very long hallway. I dreaded going to special math. The hallway always seemed so long. Everyone knew why you had to leave. Not very smart that one. I was just happy that my friend Jeff Shields was in the class. Took away some of the sting. I also remember that he and I graduated at the semester break. All that doesn’t change the fact that I was never really good at math.

When I think of math tutors I think of my two go-to guys at New Heights Church, Greg Conder and Lee Burgess. They would probably laugh at the thought of me being a math tutor. They are both engineers. They were highly qualified to help with math and they did it while caring for the students.

Recently I was a bit discouraged. I have been doing this tutor thing for awhile. At first I thought maybe it was good that I was helping these guys with math. They struggle and I did too so maybe I can give them some personal tips that got me through. That is at least what I thought. The math isn’t really hard, most of it is at a level I can handle. I did have to do a Google search on a word the other day.quote_success

I was discouraged because I felt like each week we were going over the same problems and the student still didn’t understand. I started to think I wasn’t really cut out for math tutoring, that my shortcomings were causing me to be ineffective. I started to think I was wasting the student’s time. Well everyone’s time really.

So as I was leaving last week the teacher came chasing after me. At some point I was probably thinking I was about to get fired. She is going to take care of this and put me out of my misery. That wasn’t it at all. She wanted to make sure and thank me.

She informed me that the student I was working with never talks to anyone. Never talks to any of the teachers. Never responds to questions or seems to care at all. She wanted me to know that they too go over all of the same problems with all of the same answers that the student never seems to get but one thing is different, he talks to me. The student responds and seems to care. She wanted to thank me for coming and to encourage me to keep it up.

How do you measure success? How do you measure love? I was reminded that I often get it all wrong. You don’t have to know math to be a child of God. Certainly not to follow Jesus. You can even flunk out and Jesus will still love you. I was reminded that someone caring and taking the time to make it known is better than any amount of tens and hundreds place recognition. Watch how you measure success and don’t forget to go out of your way to love someone, even if you are bad at math.

God bless.

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