I learned through teaching that a career given to God takes you on more adventures than a life controlled by oneself. From my very first job out of college, I learned God has both a plan and a sense of humor. I swore from the get-go that I would never work in the Seventh-day Adventist system, never teach in elementary school, and never work in California.

Well, wouldn’t you know it, my first job out of college took me to California where I taught at Armona Union Academy and had the best year of my life. I grew closer to God and began a relationship that would lead me to my wife. From there I taught at several other schools, but always in large school settings teaching fifth and sixth grades with 20-32 students in a class. To be honest it became a bit routine, as routine as teaching can feel. So I started asking God where He wanted me to teach.

My wife and I were sure that God was pointing us to Texas with its warm beaches and hot summers. At the last minute, I saw a job listing in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, a city my sister had moved to a few years prior. This was not a place we had ever considered living, and most certainly not the year-round warmth of Texas my wife was seeking. Oddly enough, it was she who encouraged me to pursue the position.

Long story short, God once again took control and guided us to Sioux Falls, where I have the honor of teaching a group of five students between Kindergarten and eighth grade. The transition from teaching only two grades to teaching all nine has opened my eyes like never before. I can now appreciate my fellow educators for the unique challenges each grade level presents. But more than that, being able to spend so much one-on-one time with my students has rekindled the joy of teaching. Most surprising is the joy I get from teaching Kindergarten. They LOVE to learn and are always so excited to ask questions and try new things.

I think all good teachers love to learn and it is this passion we wish to share with others. However, after the past couple years of crazy stuff going on in the country and communities, I think we all have felt overloaded. God knew this passion needed to be relit in me and He knew exactly how to do it.