My teenage daughter sat at the breakfast table yesterday morning with tears streaming down her face. “I’ll never use geometry in real life!” she lamented. Oh, how I remember those feelings and I said the exact words myself at her age, verbatim, to my own mama. She agreed with me, just as I agreed with my own daughter. I think it’s safe to say some twenty-five years since high school, that I was right.
I have never found the occasion in life where I was required to prove that something was a triangle or a circle. I have never used the Pythagorean Theorem or the quadratic formula. But, they gave me a run for my money in high school and I shed more than a few tears myself over geometry and calculus.
I think grades have become an idol of sorts in our society. The number one reason I hear for kids not coming to church is either they had to study or sports. I have to ask myself the same question about sports. When will these kids use these skills in their adult lives? Will they be wrestling in their jobs or shooting baskets for a raise? Will they be required to make a soccer goal to get a promotion or a kick a field goal to be considered for a management position?
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say, probably not. But, the next question is, will they use something learned from a Sunday School class or a Bible study in real life? Can attending church affect how they live and the choices they make? Can it have an impact on their hearts and souls? Can it make their lives richer and more meaningful? Can learning to read the Bible help them cope with the inevitable hard times that happen in life?
Now don’t get me wrong. Grades are important. A certain amount of time is required to do well in school and you have to do well in high school to get into a good college. But, how much is too much? As parents, when do we say to the teachers and school system, “enough is enough.”
I feel the same way about sports. Kids can learn so much from playing a sport. They learn about team work and winning and losing and that hard work pays off. But, once upon a time, sports had a season. The Bible tells us there is a season for everything. If our kids regularly miss church because of a sport, maybe there is a problem. It’s one thing if it’s for a season, but if it’s year round, what are we willing to sacrifice in the long run for our child to play a particular sport?
The window of opportunity to teach our children about God and worship and the importance of church and community is incredibly short. By high school, we are down to four short years. After that, they are out of our homes and on their own. When they walk out of our doors and head off to college or other parts unknown, what can we say we have taught them?
Have we taught them to put God first in their lives? Have we taught them to honor God with their lives or have we taught them that grades and sports are all that matter? Idolatry has always been an issue for humanity. We will worship something. The decision we have to make is what or who will that be. The choice is ours.
Have an awesome day!