When I graduated from college I was given a tassel with blue and white cords and a small gold plate with the year 2018 stamped on it. This tassel was on my cap as I walked across the stage and graduated from Grand Valley after 6 years of college and the end of my 20 some years of education from kindergarten to college graduate. It's a time of change in my life as I start looking to start my career in teaching but I find myself looking back not to college but to high school.
In my last day of class with Ray Vander Laan all of the students were given titzits; a tassel that was worn by the ancient Jews to help them remember their role on this earth to be priests to the nations of the world. They were called to show the world what G-d is like. The titzit would have been worn on the corners of a robe, today they are often worn around the waist. The purpose of wearing this tassel was not to show some kind of academic achievement but to be very annoying. The titzit gets caught in doors, bumps against your leg every time you take a step, it's a constant reminder that you're wearing this thing. The thought behind this is that whenever the tassel causes you an inconvenience or you remember it's there you would reflect and think back on why you're wearing it.
This is how I want to live my life wearing a tassel that will bring me closer to G-d as I go throughout my daily life instead of one that is supposed to elevate my own achievements. The titzit will continue to challenge me and remind me that I am here to spread G-d's kingdom by being like Jesus and living my life the way he did. Jesus simply lived a life to honor G-d and that is what I must strive to do to in my everyday life. This is why a tassel that I was given by a Bible teacher in high school will forever hold more meaning to me than any award or achievement I receive because it challenges me to love whole heartedly and help those in need with every fiber of my being. That is the spirit I want to take into my classroom where I can make an impact on the lives of students. I want them to see that I will be there to support them and push them to be the best they can be. I want to lead by example and model for them what learning can look like when you give one hundred and ten percent.
This lifestyle choice is for all christians though not just me. Jesus called everyone that believed in him to be his talmidim. We often translate that world to mean disciple but it means so much more than that! The word implies someone that wants to not just be like their teacher but to be their teacher. We are all called to be like Jesus and make an impact on this world in the way he did. We are supposed to be his priests that live such different lives than those around us because we care for the helpless, lonely, and downtrodden. We are called to live like Christ in our daily lives, so grab your tittzit whether it's real or not and get out there to shape the world for his kingdom.
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