One of my favorite lines from THE INCREDIBLES movie is “if everyone is special, then nobody is special.” It comes from a villain who is plotting a way to make everyone into superheroes, thus negating the current superheroes’ power and prestige. I tried hard to prove this “everyone gets an A” picture as fake news… but alas, it is not. Where was this when I was crying over my math homework in fifth grade? Obviously, it didn’t exist because we lived in reality where you had to earn your grades. Interesting to note that homework and cupcakes are also banned at this particular school in Arlington, Virginia. Of course they are.
Just so we are clear, everyone receives an A regardless of their performance. If the reality is that you did not actually earn that A, a tiny little asterisk will lead you to a comment section where you can read about areas you may need to improve in. That’s a scary word, reality… it means something may be true whether it gives us all the feels or not.
Can students’ eyes physically not handle seeing any other letters besides the A? I have a list of questions. I can’t help thinking of entire generations past that would be rolling over in their graves upon seeing such a spectacle. People who saw war and depression, can you imagine what they would think of this?
The virtual phone screen world we live in has made us soft and squishy about real life. Certainly nobody seeks after hardship, but to fear it in this way isn’t healthy or helpful.
-We don’t believe you can handle seeing a bad grade, therefore we won’t give you one.
-Homework is hard, therefore we won’t bother you with it.
-Cupcakes… well who knows about the cupcakes, I suppose flavors could be offensive.
The Bible speaks at great length of our need to be diligent workers. We must handle God’s word with care and attention, and we must understand how to be rooted in it when the high winds blow. It’s not a mere suggestion, it’s our lifeline. Trouble will come. Uncomfortable feelings will crop up. Heck, someone may even bring cupcakes that you don’t like. What will you do in such a time as this?
Our kids are being encouraged to stand and scream at the wind. Like little hothouse flowers, they are trying to control their environment instead of fortifying themselves for it. Instead of sending their roots down deep, they are in harms way demanding that all harm cease. It’s the definition of futility, but when everyone thinks the same way, it doesn’t occur to a person to change course. We aren’t in charge of the winds, but we can and must work on our roots. One of my favorite verses in the whole Bible is Jeremiah 17:8:
“He will be like a tree planted by the waters that sends out its roots toward the stream. It does not fear when the heat comes, and its leaves are always green. It will not worry in a year of drought or cease producing fruit.”
The book of Romans tells us that suffering produces perseverance, character and hope (5:3).
We can live well and thrive in hardship because we root ourselves deep in God’s love and truth. Choosing to try and self-preserve is a futile and foolish way to live. God’s Word is full of regular folks who chose to fortify themselves for battle. David. Esther. Paul. Hardship was the name of the game for them. They chose God, planted their feet, and came out victorious on the other side.
Calling all grown up Christians. Rooted Christians. Not perfect, shiny, world-pleasing, smooth talkers… but folks who have pushed through with Jesus and want to continue doing so. These are the people I want to be in the trenches with, the ones who choose daily to pick up the cross and follow where He leads, whether it makes them feel comfortable or not.
Everyone says we gotta be brave and we gotta have hustle. Get the A, win the game and climb the ladder. It’s played out. It’s a sham, because when those things don’t happen, we run for the hothouse and demand our free ‘A’.
We try and cocoon ourselves from every negative wind that blows. Jesus invited Peter to get up and walk on the stormy waters with Him. No bravery needed, just faith. What a powerful example to us that we don’t need to keep running from what makes us uncomfortable!