Tonight I was in the first session of my developmental psychology class. Dr. Crews emailed us the first reading assignment a few weeks ago and I knocked it out immediately. Tonight he uttered those dreaded words... please put everything away except a pen.
After a pop quiz which killed the spirit of the entire class I did better than many people around me, but nowhere near where I'd like to preform on my first test of grad school. Dr. Crews began to speak. He said that the grade didn't count and that we could retrieve our aper after class. He said that he didn't want to pass out the papers and see the grades at all.
Dr. Crews spent the next minute talking to us about our purpose in grad school. He told us that the only people in our program that care about grades we us, the students. Our professors care about facilitating our learning and leading us on the path of learning about ourselves and discovering how to be effective counselors. He assured us that we would have academic successes and failures while we were at Winthrop, but that those weren't the most important aspect of our experience. He told us that he was going to give us just enough information to make us dangerous as a counselor. Its our responsibility to make the most of our learning experience and to work toward being a responsible, competent practitioner.
Throughout this encouraging talk I kept thinking of a passage in Colossians...
Colossians 3:23 (The Message)
22-25 Servants, do what you're told by your earthly masters. And don't just do the minimum that will get you by. Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you'll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance. Keep in mind always that the ultimate Master you're serving is Christ. The sullen servant who does shoddy work will be held responsible. Being a follower of Jesus doesn't cover up bad work.
How hard is it for us to remember to do everything as if for God when we are forced into doing things we do not like? I mean sometimes you just don't feel like finishing the dishes, getting up on time, heading in to work, reading another chapter before class. This is especially daunting for those of us who like to be in control. The simplest task can become enormous when we dislike it. But, when we approach the task from a different place-- when we do it out of love for the Lord, we often find that the task is not as bad as we thought.
For me, things aren't difficult because I don't like them... but no matter how much you appreciate school or a job, sometimes you'd rather just get some sleep or see your family. I'm finding that sacrifice and discipline are easier when you keep in mind why you're doing what you do. Even in the midst of suffering, if we approach it from the standpoint that there is a purpose in it from and for God, we can endure anything.
I found encouragement in an unexpected source today, and just wanted to share.