Today I finished teaching Systematic Theology 1 at school. It has been three weeks of “drinking from the fire hose” for my poor students; they have endured 5 hours of classes, 3 days a week, for the last three weeks. They have had three tests, turned in 8 assignments, and have a major paper still to turn in. We’ve covered Bibliology (the study of Scripture), Theology proper (the study of God and His character), prayer, Anthropology (the study of humanity and our condition), and Hamartiology (the study of sin). That was a lot of work!
Congratulations are definitely in order to those who took on the challenge and conquered it. Well done, good and faithful servants! 🙂 It is a lot of effort, but (hopefully!) the knowledge gained and the progress toward their degree is worth the effort.
The same can be said of the week ahead at church. If you haven’t seen the church yet, get ready! It is all decorated for VBS starting Sunday; our VBS leader Cheryl, her family, and our dedicated volunteers have been getting it ready for the kids to come and enjoy. All the hard work serves to give kids a chance to know Christ if they don’t and grow in Him if they do.
It is a LOT of work for the whole church, but seeing the kids who trust Christ is always worth it! We are wiped out at the end, joyful but desperately in need of a nap and a long bath by the time it is all done. We have a lot of fun while we are there though (come on, you know you love that pic of me jamming to the music)! Where are my SBC friends who can still do the moves and sing “On Outrigger Island we live God’s unshakable truth/’cause we’ve figured out life is so much better when we do!”?
There are so many chances we have in life to work hard, dig deep, and grow mightily in community with others in Christ. These are just a few of many chances we have to see the “markers on the road” as we walk with the Lord.
Whether you are the one who is passing the class, teaching the kids who are, or watching your own kids graduate from AWANA or VBS class or high school or college, make sure that you see the hand of God in that experience this year. Opening a checking account for the first time is an exciting experience when we realize that God is trusting us with something new; so is a pregnancy, a graduation, our kids leaving home, or a wedding anniversary. They are all markers on the road to becoming the people who God wants us to be.
The path to “well done, good and faithful servant” is not walked by making a very few major decisions. It is traveled by means of a thousand little ones! Every paper turned in for class is a chance for obedience to Christ. Every child at church that looks to each of us for an example of godliness (and fun!) is a chance to make Him proud. Every call taken from a telemarketer or commuter we encounter on our drive gives us another small step.
The times of graduation, of completion, of fulfillment should give us pause and help us remember that it is God whom we serve. The little decisions we made that lead to the accomplishment bring us to it and make it satisfying, knowing that the Lord is pleased with our accomplishment.
When we look back and see all the markers on the path, hopefully we will see what the writer of Proverbs tells us, “The mind of a man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9) Where are your plans, accomplishments, and steps taking you this summer?