Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Classroom Metaphor

I had to write this for a class. I really enjoyed writing it, so I thought I would post it. It is a metaphor for a classroom, but I think it applies to daily life.

In the classic movie, Beauty and the Beast, the Beast presents Belle with a marvelous library filled with thousands of books. I imagine myself in a library much like this one—with its ceiling-high shelves filled with books. Some books are worn and tattered; some are seemingly in perfect condition. Some have pages ripped out and seem uninviting on first glance while others, with their flashy covers draw my immediate attention and fill me with excitement. Each book is titled with a name. I find sections of the library with rows of books with titles such as Jonathan, Cassandra, and Timothy.
I notice for the first time that I am not the only one in the library. Others are walking up to the shelves, removing books, writing in them, and returning them to the shelves. I pull a few books from the shelves and open them. Stunned and a little disappointed, I see that they are not finished; each book has only a few chapters written in it. I look a little further and find a book with my name on it. It, too, is unfinished. As I read, I can tell from the handwriting and the style of writing who has been writing in my book. I see pages where my parents, teachers and friends have written.
After reminiscing for a while, I realize that I am in the library for a purpose. Just as people have written in my book, I must write as well. I find a chair with my name on it and a stack of books sitting on an end table next to it. Those are the books that have been entrusted into my care. But how do I know what to write? Well, first, I need to know what the story is about. I begin to read. I realize that the more I read from each book, the more I understand what is important for each story. I cannot write a single chapter and copy and paste into several different books. It isn’t that simple. What is right for one book is not going to make sense in any of the other books. I am drawn to the good looking books, but as I open the less than beautiful books, I am amazed to discover the stories of courage and love inside. These teach me almost more than the books I am initially drawn to.
I pick up my pen to write and come to another roadblock. How do I know where these stories are going? What is supposed to happen in the end? I have no way of knowing what to write because I don’t what the purpose of each book is. I realize that I’m not the author of these books. I simply am writing a chapter for someone else. Who is the author then? God is the author. He has been trusting people like me to write in each of his precious books all along. This is His library. I feel the pressure begin to rise, as I realize that my small amount or writing knowledge is nothing in comparison to the real author’s skills and knowledge. The thought that brings me comfort is that if I want to write the right things I need to ask Him. I need to be in constant communication with God; only He knows the purpose of the books He writes. He knows what needs to be in each one in order for those who read them to be influenced and inspired. If I ask Him, I will know what I need to write.
As I contemplate this, I notice that people periodically come up and borrow books from my table. I realize that I’m not the only one who has been given the task of writing in these books. As I collaborate with those around me, I will be able to understand even more of what the author has in mind for each book that I am supposed to write in.
After I have written what I can, I receive other books at my end table. I will never forget my experiences with each book however. Every book I have read has influenced me; I have learned from each. I am who I am because of what I have read and written in each book. I have developed a relationship with the true author, God, as I have spoken with Him frequently about His precious books.

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