“It was a boring day today,” my son told me as we headed to the doctor’s office. His teacher was tired of the class acting up so she proclaimed a boring day with no activities, only desk work. They had a shortened recess and all day there was to be no talking. The teacher stayed at her desk all day so she wouldn’t be tempted to talk to them. She told them they had taken advantage of her kindness. So for the day, there would be no kindness. There would be no fun activities. There would be only work. This made quite an impression on both of my kids. They were still talking about it this morning.
“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1:5-8 NIV)
I thought it was interesting my children didn’t recognize how good they had it. Their teacher did the bare minimum with them requiring them to fend for themselves. She didn’t create fun activities to get her point across. She didn’t make up a new game to learn what she was trying to teach. They simply sat and read and answered questions. Until yesterday, they had forgotten they were blessed. Until they were required to “learn” like all of the other classes, they didn’t realize how spoiled they were. And they didn’t realize all their teacher does for them out of the kindness of her heart.
I’ve been feeling pretty ineffective this week. I felt like I messed up as a parent as well as a friend. I was feeling inadequate. I felt like I failed miserably at the divine appointments God has given me. Over the last couple of days, I’ve had to run to God for guidance and wisdom and He has given me those things. I didn’t have to beg Him or plead with Him or make an exchange for them. They were freely given simply because I asked. I wonder when I will learn the lesson that I am not alone. God is on my side. I wonder when I will stop trying to do everything myself in my own strength and allow God to work through me. I don’t seem to get it until God has removed Himself from the situation. He’s sitting on the sidelines head in hand waiting for me to flop so I will turn to Him and ask for help. When will I appreciate that God wants to be a part of the process and not the last resort?
My kids didn’t understand that the fun they were having at school could be taken away, until it was gone. They didn’t understand the work their teacher did to make their learning experience memorable. I do the same thing with God. I try on my own with my worldly wisdom to make things happen. When they fail, then I run to God. He wants me to run to Him every day with every situation so He can walk with me through the process. In that process my faith, goodness, knowledge and self-control will grow. My perseverance, godliness, kindness and love will be apparent. Each of these things has an opportunity become a part of me but only if I walk with God. They will never increase if I try to survive this journey alone. Only when I allow God in, can I be and do what He has for me.
My kids were looking forward to school today since the “boring” day was behind them. It was back to school as usual. Their attitudes will be a bit more respectful. They will have more self-control. They will be a little more thankful they have a teacher who cares enough to make school enjoyable. There is a marked difference between a “boring” day and a normal day for them. For me, there is a noticeable difference between a day without God and a day walking in His light. Yes, there is a big distinction in how I handle things. There is an enormous difference in my attitude. My vision is much clearer when I allow God to lead. After wandering around on my own, I will come back to the way things are supposed to be. I will follow while God leads.