“Teacher! Teacher!” Do you remember the last time you shouted this word with excitement? You were pleading for attention wanting to be given a chance to recite, or needing to be coached in a project or academic ordeal. “Teacher…” Some of us may not have had good memories of him or her. I, for one, was never really the type of student who would develop a close relationship with my teacher. Whether in academics or sports, I was never the “querying type” who would ask for help or assistance. Why I am that way is a another story though. But I am grateful to God for the opportunities I had to be taught and encouraged by my figure skating coaches…

Setting aside the encouraging words (which are by the way very valuable as well), what God reminds me with sweetness and joy today are those moments when my coach had explained to me patiently and carefully how to do a jump, a particular spin, or dance step. I remember his clear and firm words describing and detailing technique and strategy in figure skating maneuvers. He would use analogies, physics, actual demonstrations, teaching aids like markings on the ice, the harness, a string, a dumbell, a paper illustration or what you have, just to be able to impart to me knowledge and the closest possible thing to experience… in order for me to learn and succeed in the sport. Oh yeah, if not for his patience and creativity, many things I can do not would not have been possible for me to do.

As I was reflecting on this day’s events (and STRUGGLES), I am suddenly caught by a name Jesus has, a name that I never really thought of calling him. It is the name Rabbi. Jesus, my Rabbi, my Teacher! I was never a teacher’s (or coach’s) pet because I’ve always been the independent and not-so-friendly type of student. haha. But to God, I always ask questions. Yeah, sometimes even what I should wear, or how to organize my itinerary. Oh ya, I asked the dumbest questions of all time knowing no one else will know anyway.

Today, I found Jesus telling me, “I am your TEACHER. See how I am teaching your heart to listen, to discern, and to refute ungodly beliefs. See how I am training you to think, to speak, and to decide? Do you not notice that with every ordeal, I am increasing your wisdom and strategizing skill? Have you not noticed Riza? I am your TEACHER! And I am right behind you like a skating coach, reminding you or introducing to you new concepts and truths.” Whoa! He is indeed patient and concerned. When my heart has been beating with pressure and tension, he was earnestly watching with fingers crossed, hoping I’d take the risk of jumping with all my might despite the fear of landing on my butt. And after each attempt whether successful or not, he eagerly greets me with additional inputs and corrections, with encouragement or rebuke. He is my Teacher. 🙂

There were no tongues of fire today. But through my long day of errands and first times… there was a voice and a hand, well… two hands… I did not feel it right away until He whisphered it to me. But yes, he was there STEADY and CONFIDENT in me as ever, even as I trembled my way through a path of new lessons and nervewrecking stints.

I love you Rabbi.


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