We are currently reading the Prologue to The Canterbury Tales in my ninth grade Humanities class. Chaucer’s prologue presents a cross-section of medieval English society. It is witty, sarcastic, wise and enlightening, but my favorite thing about it is that it shows that human nature does not change.
This morning we were reading about the Parson. Many of Chaucer’s clergy are rogues. He does not hide the corruption that had developed in the medieval church. Yet in the parson we meet a true servant of God. The whole description of him is delightful and encouraging, but a couple of lines jumped off of the page for me: “This noble example to his sheep he gave/That first he wrought, and afterwards he taught…” As a teacher, that is what I want to do. I want to work through the hard stuff in life, to be authentic in my walk with the help of the Lord and THEN to teach. Life is hard work. The Christian life is even harder, but the lessons we learn along the way give us something to share that counts. I don’t have to be perfect to teach, I just have to be working on it. “…work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” Phil. 2:12,13.