I have just returned from a lovely walk around my neighbourhood. The trees are displaying their beautiful Fall clothes.
While out walking, I stopped at our community mailboxes to check the mail. One of the items we received was an energy usage “report card” from the hydro company. This is the third one that we have received this year and in each one we have been awarded a “Very Good” grade; meaning that we have used even less energy than comparable “energy efficient” homes. In fact, we use 59% less energy than the average comparable home! Woot! Woot! (but where’s my gold star?? LOL)
Report cards – you either loved or hated getting them in school. You either waited for them with eager anticipation or discouraging dread. I was one of those kids who actually looked forward to getting my report card. For the most part, I enjoyed going to school and learning. I was a pretty good student and usually came home with good grades and positive comments from my teachers. (yup – I was one of those darned “teacher’s pets)
My mother was always proud of her children’s accomplishments and gave us much encouragement and praise. She often liked to share our accomplishments with others by showing them our report cards.
I had to laugh when she told me the story of how she had shown my report card to someone and they couldn’t understand why she was so proud of her daughter getting a C+! You see, most schools at that time were grading with the well-known “A-B-C-D-E-F” grading system. So according to that system, my C+ would only have been a very average grade. However, my school used a different grading system with the letter “C” standing for “Commendable”, the letter “A” was for “Average” and “NI” indicated “Needs Improvement”.
Getting a good report card was VERY important to me and I couldn’t wait to show it to my parents and hear their praise. However, I remember one time I showed my Dad my really good mark and his response was, “is that all”? I was crushed! You see, my Dad didn’t really know how to give straight forward praise as he had never received it as a child. He was proud of me and his remark was actually meant as a joke, as that was the only way he felt able to express himself. But the comment still stung me as a child.
Even though I am now middle-aged, I still want to do my very best. I still want to do well in achieving “good marks” for all that I do. And yes, I still want to hear people say, “good job Shari – we’re proud of you”. As adults, we don’t seem to get that affirmation very often. I am very blessed in that I have a wonderful husband and a loving mother who are my biggest encouragers in this world.
But more than achieving good marks in the physical, material world, I want to receive good marks in the spiritual world of God’s Heavenly Kingdom. I want to be more concerned about God’s “grading system” than the world’s. When I stand before my Heavenly Father, I want to have “Commendable +” on my spiritual report card. And in the comments section, rather than having had written “is that all?”, I want to be able to read, “Well done, good and faithful servant”. I want God to say of me, “this is my [daughter] in whom I am well pleased.”
So I will keep going to “school”; I will keep listening to my teacher, Jesus Christ; and I will continue to do my homework and meditate upon God’s Word.
BTW – I know that I am not made righteous through my own works, but through faith in who Jesus was and is and by what he has done for me. But, I love my Heavenly “Papa” and I want to please Him.