Once, I had an unexpected reunion with a former student. I hadn’t seen him in quite a while, but I recognized him immediately. I don’t have a great memory, but I did have him in my ninth-grade English class two years in a row.
It wasn’t that he couldn’t do the work; he wouldn’t do the work. He certainly had the intelligence to pass the class and probably could have done well if he had put in some effort, but he did not.
Other teachers shared the same frustrations in seeing him not even try to live up to his potential. Some of them told me that he was waiting until he was old enough to drop out.
Well, he didn’t drop out, but he did have to leave school because of truancy. He was a few months into his first job when we met in the store.
After a bit of catching up, he said something that surprised me. “You’re not going to believe this, but I wish I was back in school.” Sometimes it takes the consequences of an action to see life from a different perspective. On the positive side, he is still young and could earn a General Education Diploma to pursue his life’s goals.
Of course, many of us have a similar realization spiritually and not educationally. We can’t wait to be able to do whatever we want without having to live up to the standards set by God. We can easily do that, but we don’t live up to the potential God has gifted us with.
The good news is that it’s not too late to realize that we made a mistake. God does not expect perfection, but He does expect us to try our best as creatures made in His image. We have an opportunity to turn our life around.
It’s not easy, but I know it can be done. After several years of attend church about once a year, I returned to God and my life has not been the same since.
God is always waiting for us.