When you are the mother of 5 sons, inevitably, the question is asked, “Do you want any more children. . . . maybe a girl?”
The anwer? I have taught all my sons to read and swim. If I had one more, he/she would be illiterate and drown.
Still, school is starting. My White Board Calendar is expanding its usage this year: the place for my high school students to record their academic assignments. Hopefully, that will create a more organized, focused work ethic.
The dog days of summer lead to full backpacks, lunchboxes filled with mama’s love, pens, pencils, paper, binders, and homework. School has the potential to be so much more than the tools of school.
Why is it the addage, “Oh, honey, just do your best,” sounds like “Aw, I realize you really can’t do better, so you don’t have to try so hard.” Listen the next time someone says that. Are they really promoting someone doing their best work?
I realize different children have different gifts. I realize not every gift turns into an Einstein, Margaret Thatcher, Steve Jobs, Emeril, Mother Teresa, or Billy Graham. However, we are called to be all that Christ has called us to be:
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be”(Psalm 139: 14-16)
Each of us arrive in the world with a plan, designed for joy and fulfillment, a job, a tool box with God-designed tools to help us in our journey, and one awesome safety net. However, a couch-potato-mentality can interfere with God’s plan for our lives and our children’s lives.
Taking God out of education takes holistic purpose out of education. When your job is just a job, where’s the nobleness, the drive. When your job is God-inspired, your talent God-given, and your success a result of God Faith, your job becomes more than a job.
An engineer doesn’t just create cars or iPods for entertainment. An engineer creates jobs that give families the means to feed, clothe, support, and grow secure families. If you only see yourself as the engineer, you don’t see God’s plan for you. If you see the effect of a job well done, then you start getting the idea.
Neither me nor my children have to be an Einstein, Margaret Thatcher, Mother Teresa, or Billy Graham to impact others. Someone who helps just one person is just as noble as the one who helps one thousand. However, we are to fully use the gifts God placed in us to the fullest of our abilities.
Disappointingly, what I have seen in the classroom and, at times, in my own children is a take-for-granted attitude about who they are in Christ and how that affects them in the classroom. They are willing to talk the talk but not walk the talk.
“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might” (Ecc 9:10) is the motto I hope to instill in my children.
In my college classroom, Christian students enter, itching for an opportunity to evangelize the radical left faculty. Sadly, their witness leaves them open for derision and tags of hypocrisy. When a Christian student comes to class habitually late, comes un-prepared for in-class work, doesn’t spell-check, or follow directions, that behavior erodes the strength of their witness.
Work ethic is a reflection of Christ in you. Maybe you don’t have the skill to write an A essay, but you do have the skill to come on time, prepared, and the work ethic to learn. I would rather have a student with a strong work ethic in my class than a student with tremendous ability. Work ethic trumps ability any time.
My oldest son struggled with pre-calculus. “I’m just not good at it anymore,” he bemoaned. The excuse sounded great, but that is what it was–an excuse to back down from the challenge.
God gives us gifts. In our strength areas, our gift areas, those gifts carry us for a certain amount of time. For some, math might be easy early on, or reading, or language; however, at some point, the gift no longer carries. In order to take that gift to the next level, work ethic needs to be applied.
Yes, whatever you do, do it with all your might = work ethic for the successful.
Frustration, the spice of motherhood! Some of the boys chose to work hard. Some needed to be prodded. Some needed help learning how to work hard. Frustration is an inward signal, a warning sign that modification needs to be made. Frustration prompts me to look for alternate solutions to challenges. We would just sail right on, not realizing our children needed adjustment or that we need to adjust ourselves.
Seed planting is how I look at it. Hopefully, those seeds will grow and one day blossom to a healthy harvest. Healthy Harvests are so incredibily beautiful.
Work Ethic is the key to success. Work Ethic dedicated to God unlocks blessing, growing good things within our souls.
Blessings on the start of your school year!