The Difference Between the Coffeeshop and Classroom

Today, I was in a coffeeshop working on some lesson plans. While I was grabbing a refill (sometimes lesson planning requires refilling), I noticed a man with three cups of coffee. I said something silly along the lines of, “You don’t have enough hands.” He responded that there are two questions that have haunted him throughout life–1) How many fish does it take to make a mess?, and 2) How much is enough?

Looking to engage, I responded that 1) I could definitely make a mess with just one fish, and 2) Enough never seems like enough.

I was hoping to jump into a conversation about how Jesus satisfies like nothing else. He truly is enough, and nothing in this world can back up the claim to satisfaction like He can. Psalm 16:11 says that the fullness of joy is found in the presence of God. You could say that I was looking for some coffeeshop-style biblical integration.

However, I never got the chance. Before I was able to advance the conversation, he expertly picked up his three cups and kindly said good-bye. I couldn’t help but be reminded of the rich young ruler described in Mark 10:17-27, who, after hearing Jesus respond to him, “went away sad.” Coffee in hand, but empty in heart, this man left.

I don’t know if I will ever see that man again. And even if I do, I am not sure if we will be able to pick up where we left off.

But in your classroom, you have the great privilege of seeing and interacting with students every day. Make the most of that. Talk about things that matter. Use your content to point your students to Him in every opportunity. Show the beautiful, worthy Christ in all that you do so that, at the end of the year, students don’t leave with heads full of equations, grammar, and art but void of the value of Christ. Engage in integration so that your students can be truly satisfied.

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