The Teacher

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Goldie B. Despain

The teacher looked ahead with misgivings but with hope.
Would the way be smooth or rough?
Would it end in success or failure?"
The teacher stood and looked and wondered
And a voice said, answering: "There will be no end."
And the teacher smiled and said
"I know it will end. I may teach one year, two years,
Or possibly many more years
But this I know: Someday it will end."
And the teacher went forward to teach.
Those who gathered around the teacher had need to learn.
And the teacher looked into their eyes and desired to fill their needs
And taught them with mind and heart and voice —
A mind filled with knowledge from continued study,
A voice speaking this knowledge in wisdom,
And a heart filling the mind and voice with conviction and power.
The teacher learned from mistakes made
And received happiness from lessons taught with inspiration.

Then life changed, and the teacher could not teach.
"It has ended," said the teacher, continuing on the road of life
"This is really the end of my teaching."
And the teacher believed this until a person of good position stood and said
"I am here because this teacher taught me thus."
And the teacher was happy and said, "It was not the end back there — This is the end.
And it could not have ended better.
I am glad I taught in love and faith and prayer."

Time passed; and the teacher grew old and slept and awakened and stood before the Maker.
And the teacher looked and was surprised, for there stood also those who had been taught.
And He before whom they stood questioned them and then sent them to a high place.
And the teacher said, "It was not the end back there — this is the end.
And it is a more glorious end than I ever could have hoped for."
And joy filled the teacher's heart, as a great celestial light.
And the teacher looked ahead of those who had been taught
And saw the continued steps of progress and work before each one
And then said: "This is not the end — there is no end.
I have just realized, there is no end to my teachings!"

And a voice spoke: "When first you were called to teach,
I tried to warn you of your great responsibility.
But you can be thankful you taught well,
In humility, in faith, in testimony —
For there is no end to your teachings."