Clearly Defined Expectations
As a teacher, there are certain times of the school year that are more intense than others. The end of a grading period tends to be one. Students who are experiencing a low or failing grade often demonstrate sudden and immediate concern for a circumstance that has been building up over the course of weeks and months. Many students worry because their cell phone, time spent with friends, a trip, an outing, …you name it… are all contingent upon the small tell-tale letter printed on a single sheet of paper called a report card.
Although from the beginning of a school year, guidelines and expectations are communicated, directions for individual assignments are given, due dates are clearly defined, times are provided for asking questions, tutoring, makeup work, and opportunities for extra credit or help are given to cushion potential forgetfulness, failure, or lack of understanding, still…there is always the rush at the end to put into action that which has been put off.
In a similar way, God has given us clearly defined expectations, directions for success, grace for failure or lack of understanding, assistance when we struggle, and yet…we drag our feet and compound our struggles by not doing what it is He has already instructed us to do. We, like my students, wait until the pressure is on, waiting sometimes until consequence is unavoidable.
Consider this: “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”
Today, reflect. Is there something that the Lord has instructed you to do that you are not doing? If so, do not wait. Follow through today.