This is the second semester of my 21st year of teaching college level students. And believe it or not, after teaching 42 semesters of classes, I still get nervous when I think about my classes. Do I know what I am talking about? Am I prepared? Will the students see through the facade I put up and realize I really don’t know anything? Will administration finally realize they made a mistake and pull the plug?
I know after all this time that it seems like a joke. I’m a little more than a year from retirement, and I feel like I am just learning how to teach. But I still get nerves every semester.
But as I think back at other things I do, that’s the way I have approached other things in my life as well. I used to write songs and perform them in front of people. I was pretty good too. Every time I got up front I was scared to death until I opened my mouth and began to sing. Once I realized things were under control, I calmed down.
Same thing with public speaking. I was a book and magazine editor for ten years and was called to be up front quite a bit. My heart pounded in my chest until I got up front. But I always remembered what they said in the commercial, “Never let them see you sweat.” And I did pretty good.
There’s something to be said for having a little bit of nerves before going in front of people. Stage fright. It keeps you on your toes. It challenges you to do your best. It gives you an edge. It makes you cross your Ts and dot your Is.
But there is such a thing as too much worry. And sometimes I think I worry too much. I pray that God will get me through times like these, as well as real tough times, like when someone is in the hospital or when the creditor is at the door and we have no money. But all I have to do is remember what has happened in the past. God has always–always–taken care of me. So why am I worried? Because I am human. Because I don’t trust Him enough.
Paul writes in Romans 7:15: “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” I can identify with what he’s saying. Most definitely. I wish I didn’t worry so much. I wish that I could just turn it over to God and close the door. I know He’s going to take care of it.
So why don’t I?