Posted by: glorifyhim1 | September 30, 2013

This One Thing

 This One Thing

Sunday School was a bit of a fiasco this week. As many of you know, I teach five- and six-year olds in the Kindergarten Sunday School class. Our current kindergarten enrollment is low, but this week we were unexpectedly needed to also cover the three- and four-year-old classes. While not a great number of kids, I immediately began to panic – particularly, when one little boy was nudged through the door and I was reminded to be sure and take him to the bathroom. “He’s usually pretty good, but it helps to remind him to prevent any accidents,” his Dad cautioned – not something we normally deal with in kindergarten.

“You can do this,” I told myself, but immediately I began to wonder as kids whose names I could barely recall clamored for toys and attention. Activities prepared for the older kids garnered no interest for this younger group of preschoolers and I more or less resigned myself to the fact that I was just going to have to do what every true Sunday School teacher knows you should never do – I was just going to have to baby sit!

Now some of you may not understand what I mean. Many people believe the nursery and preschool rooms are more for the parents than the kids. It is a place for the kids to play safely while the parents learn important spiritual truths. But I know the real truth. I know that preschool Sunday School is a place where the youngest kids are introduced to foundational Biblical truths. It is there that they hear important truths such as God loves them and cares for them. They hear about Jesus and how He had friends and taught people about God. They even learn things that the Bible teaches about treating others right and how to show love to others. But they learn it while they play. Activities are offered that provide opportunities for teachers to talk about the Bible story, mention Bible verses, and engage kids in talking about things the Bible teaches. Believe me, it works!

Needless to say, this wasn’t happening in our room on Sunday morning. I wasn’t prepared for these younger kids and I felt hopeless. How could I engage and teach these kids? But then I saw one of our kindergartners. He was just kind of wandering around like he was lost. I realized that he probably felt a lot like I did. This wasn’t his normal Sunday School class and he wasn’t quite sure what to do either. I immediately pulled him aside, explained our situation, and enlisted his help. And that’s when it clicked with me – something that God seemingly has to remind me of over and over again. I could almost hear Jesus saying to me the same words He spoke to Martha: “And Jesus answered, and said to her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her’” (See Luke 10:41-42).

One thing is needed. And what is that one thing? In the Bible story, Mary had chosen to sit and listen to Jesus’ teaching while her sister, Martha, was distracted as she worked to serve everybody. So many times I’ve seen myself in Martha. Once again, Sunday morning, I was distracted. Once again, I was distracted by a situation over which I had no control and my concern that Sunday School wasn’t being done “right.” But Jesus can be the Master of any situation. The one thing I needed – and that I need every day – is to draw close to Him and listen to Him through the work of the Holy Spirit. Even in the midst of my chaos and confusion, Jesus helped me to hear Him instead of being overwhelmed with the situation. Just as the kindergartner listened to me and found purpose in the chaos, I could sense Jesus reminding me to just tell the kids about Him.

I talked as I could with the kids and somehow, we were able to get every one of those kids to come to group time. They sat quietly, or quietly enough, and listened – really listened – to the Bible story about how Jesus loved Zacchaeus. We even sang a song, prayed, and a young four-year-old sang a thank-you prayer.

As each child left Sunday School, I could actually smile. I knew things had not been done “right,” but I felt that Jesus must have surely smiled, too. Surely there had been confusion and chaos, and I know that there’s a better, more effective way to teach kids in Sunday School, but in spite of all the distractions, each child had heard that Jesus loves everyone – that He loves them – and they left with smiles on their faces.

I cannot help but wonder what other distractions I still allow to get between me and the one thing that is needed. Do I allow worries, guilt, responsibilities, or the expectations of others to crowd out God’s voice? He wants me to listen to Him just like Mary did. He wants me to be fully devoted to Him – not to limit myself to my plans, knowledge, or understanding. As long as I strive to serve and fail to listen to Him, I’m destined to run to Him time and again, asking like Martha: “Lord, do You not care?” As long as I base my decisions on what others want me to do instead of what He wants me to do, I’m sure to stumble under a load that He didn’t mean for me to carry. And, like Martha, I’ll be saying to Him: “Tell her (him) to help me!” I pray that instead I might remember this one thing that is needed, even when there’s chaos, and the rejoice as Jesus confirms to me like He did for Mary: “One thing is needed, and you have chosen that good part which will not be taken away from you.” And then I’ll smile!




  1. Oh no, I’m sorry you had to do all those classes. Thank you though for being flexible and serving God and the children. You are awesome!

    • Oh, Sheila, it wasn’t a lot of kids. I just wasn’t prepared for the younger ones, but you can usually survive with blocks, cars, and playdough! God knows me – and I think He needed to get my attention again! 🙂 Hope your trip went well!

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