The mind of the intelligent gains knowledge and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge. Proverbs 18:15
I’m not quite sure what happened to the past 9 weeks, but I find myself staring at the magic date on the calendar that signals the end of the first quarter of the school year. That number means it’s time for report cards and parent teacher conferences. I LOVE conferences, but report cards, not so much! They are a necessary part of a teacher’s job, but as a teacher, I’ll
admit that they certainly are my least favorite task! It's so difficult to take over 3oo hours of time together and mark it on a scale of 1 to 4 and record it neatly in one page of little boxes. I always worry that the marks I make might not paint a clear picture of who that child really is. I want to make sure the marks I make assure every parent that their child is loved, valuable, and an amazingly unique child of God. I hope that that the marks I make will allow each student to feel encouraged, recognized and supported. Most of all, I want to make sure that the marks I make on that paper leave each child wanting to come back for the next 11 years and keep working and improving and succeeding! That’s a lot to put on one little piece of paper. I feel worn out and I have barely begun the task!
As I sit here looking at my report card file, I stopped to wonder what God would mark if He were to give me a report card. That thought made me both laugh and break out in a cold sweat all at the same time! I think of my three kids, two in high school and one in college and how so much depends on their grade point average. That number ranging on a scale that only goes up to 4.0 dictates so much at this point in their life. I wonder what my “heavenly” GPA would be. The bigger question I guess would be…how hard am I trying to achieve a perfect 4.0? It’s kind of a strange way to think about life but it seems to fit with this time on the calendar.
I hope on my report card, God, like any good teacher, takes into consideration things like persistence, determination and effort! I think most days I’d get good marks for “works and plays well with others” but then He hears my silent complaints and judgmental thoughts. I would hope I could get at least a B- in patience and compassion, but then He sees me when I rush through my “to-do list” without stopping completely to listen to my family with the consideration they deserve. I would like to think I could score a C+ on sharing and listening, but then again, He is well aware of all the times I was selfish and ignored His prompting to reach out to one of His children in need. I wonder what the deduction would be for talking too much (about things that weren’t my business) or not following directions (His directions). I’m afraid to see what I’d get when He evaluates the way I use my time or how carefully I am paying attention in prayer time or in church. And man oh man, what about my grade in "giving my best effort"? Sure I'd get an A for some days, but what grade would I get when I was tired, or busy or feeling like things were going so well I could manage on my own. I really wonder what He’d write in the comment section or what He’d tell my parents at a teacher conference. YIKES!!
But then I remember He is God! He loves, He forgives and He encourages. He is the master teacher so He will make note of my attempts and celebrate my successes before He will downgrade me for my failings. I guess my job, is to be a better student…that means I’ll try harder, I’ll study (His Word) more, I’ll practice my lessons and I’ll give more focus to the teacher! Tomorrow begins a new quarter in my classroom…I’m gonna start a new quarter in God’s classroom too. Bring on the homework!!!
A seed to plant: Make a list of the things you think God would give you an “A for effort” in and a list of the things He would invite you to “stay in from recess and work on.” Then offer a prayer of thanks to your Teacher and ask Him for some extra help.
Blessings in your day!
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