I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. Philippians 3:14 NLT
Sometimes, the rules don’t seem to work.
And one particular year, the middle school rules for one class didn’t appear to. The class began the year well. Middle school was new for them. Fear peppered their faces, but it didn’t last long. Soon, they had adapted, and their new natures sprouted.
Some rules vary between classes, but others are constant throughout. Such as no talking without permission, raising hands before speaking, no chewing gum, respecting your neighbor and the teacher. Many in this class didn’t like the rules and bucked them every chance they got.
Disciplinary measures didn’t work. Lunch detentions flowed freely. They continued the behavior. Some received discipline slips. Those didn’t work. A few made it to the assistant principal and even the principal’s office. The bad behavior continued. A few were suspended. Their behavior changed only for a couple of days.
When the year ended, the teachers agreed we hadn’t seen much improvement. We hoped they’d mature and calm down over the summer. Yet, we didn’t give up on them, nor resign our positions. We were there because we cared for the children, wanted them to do their best academically, and desired to see them succeed in life as good citizens and obedient believers. We pushed on.
So did Paul. The trials we teachers faced paled in comparison to those he faced. His list could fill pages and included life-threatening attacks and tragedies. But he kept going, taking the story of God’s love and forgiveness to every place God opened a door. He met his end at the guillotine, but he remained faithful until the blade or ax fell.
God does for us what we teachers do for middle schoolers and what Paul did for God. Our behavior is sometimes bad, and at other times we simply get off track from where God wants us to be. His love won’t allow Him to leave us alone. As we pushed the kids, so God pushes us. To be our best. To adopt love instead of hate. To forgive rather than hate. To move beyond our circumstances and look for a brighter tomorrow. To try again after we’ve failed. To tell one more person about His love.
God wants us to push on. Make up your mind that nothing will keep you from doing God’s will for your life.
Prayer: Father, we ask for the strength to push on, no matter what our circumstances are.
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