Clapham Christian Classical School

Clapham Journal

In the Clapham Classroom: Gospel Conversations

By Jane Montgomery, Explorers I (Pre-Kindergarten) and After Care Teacher

A few weeks ago I was enjoying observing some of the younger children at play. We had made some paper airplanes during the “After Care” program, and the students were busy flying them around, causing them to zoom across the room or soar up to the ceiling. After some time, the airplanes started looking a little beat up. They were not flying so well, and one of the children noticed that hers was not making it around the room as far. We had a conversation about it, and I gently told her that her airplane was simply made out of paper and so it wasn’t meant to last forever.

I was surprised at how quickly her mood changed. A few minutes earlier she had been laughing and playing lightheartedly. Now, as she considered that her airplane was not going to last, she became downcast and saddened. She sat down on the floor and began to cry.


I sat down next to her and asked her why she was so sad. She proceeded to tell me that she was sad because her airplane wasn’t going to last. As we continued to discuss this, it struck me how easily we try to find our satisfaction outside of Christ.  Like this little girl, we tend to find something we enjoy and put all our hope in it. When it fails, we become devastated and feel empty. Our hearts are so quickly running away from the living waters that Jesus supplies, and going after cracked and dried cisterns that hold no water (Jeremiah 2:13).


As an adult, I could look at this little girl and see the absurdity of putting hope in something that was merely made of paper. Yet, often I can try and find my satisfaction in the opinions of other people, in my own abilities, or the newest thing in fashion.  When these things fail, I can find myself devastated just like she was.


Mrs. Montgomery and one of her students
Mrs. Montgomery and one of her students

As we continued to discuss how silly it was to try and make all our happiness depend on one little paper airplane, there was a wonderful opportunity to share the gospel. If we can’t put our hope in a paper airplane (or the other idols our hearts make) what can we put our hope in?  What does last forever and will never disappoint? We called to mind how Jesus suffered in our place, took the wrath of God that we rightfully earned, and bore our sins in his body on the tree.  By doing that, Jesus has offered us the opportunity to find all our happiness in God if we would trust Him and follow His ways.  He has given us true hope that never disappoints. It was encouraging to gradually see the change come over this little girl as we talked about being with Jesus forever. I felt my own heart lift as we contemplated our true hope. A few minutes later, the child was up and running around the room, her sadness forgotten. And I was blessed to see the power of the gospel to those who believe.


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