Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. Matthew 24:46 NKJV
“When the cat’s away, the mice will play.” I was . . . and they did—mouse play, that is.
I suppose students haven’t changed much over the years when it comes to substitute teachers. The practice has always been to see how much they can get away with and to do things they wouldn’t think of doing if the teacher were present.
At one school where I taught, we didn’t overlook such behavior, nor did we tolerate it without consequence. One day, I missed the first three periods of the day because I had an eye appointment. When I arrived at school, the sub met me with news I didn’t want to hear—but news that didn’t surprise me. The first period class refused to listen to her when she told them to remain quiet and do their work. In fact, their noise level rose so much that a teacher in an adjoining room had to step in to reprimand them.
The students later regretted their actions. I checked with the lead teacher, and we agreed on a plan of action. The class served a class-wide lunch detention and wrote “I will listen to the substitute when the teacher is absent” repeatedly.
Jesus told a story about servants who also acted up while their master was away. The master rewarded the faithful ones who did their jobs while he was away, but he punished those who misbehaved. Unfortunately, the innocent often must pay for the bad behavior of the few, as with students.
In Jesus’ story, He was the master, and the servants were believers. What He expects of us while we await His second coming—or our death—is faithfulness to His commands and the work He has left for us to do.
When we waste our lives on vain pursuits that benefit only us, we miss God’s blessings and invite His discipline. But it’s more than an obedience/discipline thing. We should obey God out of love and appreciation, not just fear. Life at its best comes when we obey because we love God and want to show His love to others in practical ways.
Messing around while the master is away sets a bad example and fosters an attitude of laziness that can become a lifestyle. Ingenuity and diligence let us enjoy life as God intends.
Don’t get involved in mouse play. Live each day as if Jesus is returning. After all, He just might.
Prayer: Father, may we be faithful to Your work as we await Your Son’s return.
Tweetable: Are you engaging in mouse play?
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