It sounds like ancient history now, but back in 1952 I was enjoying 2nd grade to the max at our local grade school. Each day Mary and I walked across a field to get there and then walked home again for lunch. My teacher, Mrs. Kludy, was a classic schoolmarm who loved her students but ran a tight ship.
I remember the day Mom came to school and explained to Mrs. Kludy and my classmates that I was going to be gone for 2 long weeks. After multiple sore throats, I was scheduled for a tonsillectomy, the preferred treatment at the time.
I loved everything about school, and saying goodbye that day was hard. Not only would I fall behind in my work, but I’d be away from my school chums.
The surgery and early days of recuperation went fine, but I was near tears looking out my bedroom windows watching friends play in the school yard during recess. I longed to be with them, working and playing in our usual routine.
Mom brought comfort in the form of ice cream and Jell-O, but all I wanted was to walk across that field and back into Mrs. Kludy’s room. When I asked Mom if I could go, she said, “Not for another week.”
But I couldn’t wait that long. The next day while Mom was driving Dad to his commuter train, I put on a dress and walked across the field to school, strolling into my room like I’d never been gone.
It felt good to receive the welcome of a room full of 7-year-olds…. until Mrs. Kludy appeared. She walked straight up to me and said, “Margaret, did you check-in with the nurse?”
My heart sank. Both of us knew it was going to be bad news. When the nurse asked to look down my throat, I knew I was on my way home.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we were always that enthusiastic about getting into God’s classroom? Opportunities abound with churches on every corner and Bible studies available every day of the week. There are weekend retreats, mission trips, and family camps. We can listen to sermons online, read good books, and attend small groups. And the fellowship is top notch. Yet we often opt out anyway. And sometimes even when we participate, our thoughts are a million miles away.
I suppose the only way to be eager about God’s school is to have a strong want-to. And that probably doesn’t come without first feeling the need. So when we’re confused, depleted, or suffering, we should view those negatives as positive prompts that will motivate us to get back in school.
“Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.” (Psalm 25:4-5)