Monday, May 27, 2013
I am A Lowly Squire
I teach seminary. I’ve been teaching for the past 9 years. I hope to teach 20 more. J This week I spoke with someone and this phrase came out of my mouth. “I see my job as being a lowly squire helping my students prepare to their daily battles they will face in school, in the community, and in the every darkening world around them.”
I was surprised but the profound analogy that popped out of my brain. It has to be the Spirit.
The typical jobs that a squire might do would include:
1. Carrying the knight’s armor, sword and shield.
2. Rescuing the knight should the knight get into some kind of trouble.
3. Replacing the knight’s sword if it were to break.
4. Dressing the knight in his armor in preparation for battle.
5. Carrying the knight’s flag – which would rally the troops.
6. Ensuring the armor and weapons were ready for battle.
7. Accompanying the knight during the time of war to the battlefield.
As a seminary teacher I feel that I do these jobs for the kids in my class.
I often feel like a carry around their armor and weapons, just waiting for the moment that they recognize that they need them. I often find myself quietly listening in times of trouble. On occasion I’ve even driven to get someone, shared a scripture to feed their soul or a sandwich to feed their bodies. I teach them the gospel every morning in the hope that they will pick up their sword, the word of God, and be armed for what is coming. Every morning I try to help the put on the a shield of righteousness to protect their heart, gird their loins with to protect chastity and their future families, and their helmet of salvation to protect their minds from the ever present temptations of the adversary. Each morning I try my best to strengthen their faith and testimony that their shield and swords may be of adequate size. I attempt to carry the flag into battle… an ensign to the nations that God’s warriors are called and ready to face what comes their way. On some days I even go to their school to help and encourage by working alongside them in the trenches.
I am a lowly squire. These are God’s Stripling Warriors. They are also squires. Jesus Christ is the Knight they serve.
The most common definition of 'squire' is that to which refers to the medieval times. A squire would be a teenage boy, in his training to become a knight. A boy became a squire at the age of 14. Mmmm… sounds familiar. I teach Freshmen and Sophomore students. They are 14-16.
This was the second stage to becoming a knight, after serving first as a page. My students are in the process of becoming knights. They are now called into battle. A squire did not stay a squire forever.
A knight would take his squires (a knight could have multiple squires but a squire could only have one knight) into battle with him and that was a squire's chance to prove himself. If he proved his loyalty and skill in battle, he would have a dubbing, an official ceremony to become a knight. My students are preparing for their “dubbing” – being called as missionaries.
One of my favorite movies is Disney’s Sword and the Stone. The young King Arthur served as squire to Sir Kay until he pulled a sword from a stone. (Look at the symbolism there! A sword – the word of God from a stone – revelation!) I love A Knight’s Tale too! A squire rises to knighthood. Even Don Quixote Sancho served as squire to a knight that wasn’t popular.
Of these examples I am most like Sancho… a little nutty and prone to babbling. But I would love to be the knight in A Knight’s Tale or even better King Arthur who rose from squire to knight to King. I hope that my students and children travel that path to Divine Royalty.
As a seminary teacher, as a parent, it is my duty to help these youth understand and believe the gospel. I have “an imperative duty that we owe to all the rising generation” (D&C123:11).
I owe it to God and to these youth, many of whom struggle, to choose to remain firm, sure, and loyal to my convictions and actions as I serve them daily as their “Squire” preparing them for daily battle. I can help them rise above the day-to-day challenges and constant bombardment they face by being happy, optimistic, and focused on the Savoir and His gospel.
I am a lowly squire. These youth are the Knight’s I serve preparing for their Royal Courts above that await them.