Thursday, December 03, 2015
I give at least one grade in every class every day. Every day, I have a bonus question that is completely random. Yesterday, it was what was singer Lou Rawls' middle name? The correct answer out of the eight possibilities was Allen. Sometimes, the bonus is to pen a prayer request. Below, from December 13, 2006, is why I do this.
I can breathe again. The past eight days have been grueling in terms of time. My girls' basketball team played six games in that stretch and on one of the two off nights, I had a upper school music concert to attend. I am worn out and I didn't even have to run one time down the court like my twelve Lady Wildcats. Last night, the final evening of this marathon, we returned to school after 10:00 PM following a trip to the other side of Houston. (My kids were excited, beating a school that had drubbed us by thirty points last month.) My voice is making a slight comeback- I'm upgraded to hoarse. Each day in class, we have a grade and I always come up with some sort of random bonus question to throw in at the end. Usually, I list seven answers on my board so the students have a 14% chance of getting extra credit even with no knowledge of the topic. Today was test day in all my five Bible classes, the last exam before semester finals commence this coming Monday. With no time to prepare an extra credit question, I made this the bonus: Simply write down a prayer request on your test and you will receive the additional point. On a normal test day, about twenty percent of the kids would write down things for me to pray about. Today, it was close to eighty percent. (One young man said he didn't have anything to pray for. He should have reconsidered; fifteen minutes later, he was issued a detention for using his cell phone during school hours.) The difference between twenty percent and eighty percent? One point.
As always, I was touched by what the kids had on their hearts. Today, there were simply more kids sharing. Almost all directly dealt with family and friend issues. These requests were not selfish in nature, although who am I to judge that, and they revealed how much the kids believe prayer can alter the situations they are in through intervention from the Lord. It probably helped that both the eighth grade and sophomore exams included the writing out of The Lord's Prayer. We talked about its brevity and what are difficult features from our perspective: only asking for daily bread and requesting mercy from God equal to the standard of mercy we apply to others. We speak often of the power of prayer in class but my students don't respond with the frequency I would prefer. There is so much hope offered to the believer in the teachings on prayer in the scriptures but we often take no advantage of what is our birthright as Christians. Maybe I'll start using prayer requests for bonus on a more regular basis to get these teens to share and more openly cast their fears and hopes on the Heavenly Father. When they do, it won't be pointless.
Applicable quote of the day:
"We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties."
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted by Steve Hawley at 9:00 PM