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FAITH AND FITBITS

At a church away day recently, the speaker talked about Fitbits. The point of a Fitbit is to track our movements, regardless of where we are, who we’re with or what we’re doing. It’s always there. It’s an integral part of everyday life and apparently, it’s changing our view of exercise. We no longer see keeping fit as a particular activity which needs a special place, such as a gym. It doesn’t demand time in a busy day, or require special clothing or equipment. It’s simply our state of living, moving and being – every step we take, every move we make. And that got me thinking about being a Christian in the classroom.

Our faith isn’t something for Sunday; something we need to juggle in a busy day, or something that requires a special place or particular words. We worship and serve ‘The God who made the world and everything in it’ and our Lord ‘is the Lord of heaven and earth’ (Acts 17:24-25). It means that God is with us wherever we are, whoever we’re with and whatever we’re doing. We take God into the classroom with us. Of course we know this in principle, but do we know it in practice?

Apply the Fitbit concept to faith in the workplace. Seeing your faith as your lived experience changes how you see your role as a teacher. Your subject is no longer just an academic discipline – it is one facet of the knowledge and truth which is God. You don’t simply transmit information to pass exams. You create a seedbed for knowledge formation; you’re the person who encourages a search for truth.

You see each of your students as uniquely created, each given life and breath by the Creator God you worship. You pray that your students ‘would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him’ (Acts 17:27). That shapes how you speak and act. It informs the way you foster your learning community. It moulds how you think.

In Cretia, his ode to Zeus, the Greek poet Epimenides wrote, ‘you live and abide forever, For in you we live and move and have our being’. It’s a phrase that Paul borrowed and related to God when he was talking to the people of Athens (Acts 17:28) and it sums up the Fitbit concept perfectly. We live and move and have our being in the God who created and sustains the world. Although we are exhorted to always be ready to give an answer for the hope that is within us (I Peter 3:15), most of our witness as Christian teachers will simply be because we’re alive – in Christ.