WISE WAYS OR A FOOL’S?
April 01, 2021
Dearest Lord, I want to walk in wisdom. Please lead me to speak words of truth and about the future to my students. Amen.
Scripture: The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice. Proverbs 12:15 NIV
I have never really been a big fan of April Fool’s Day. It seems to be a day when people’s feelings get hurt, friendships are damaged, trust is broken, and somehow it is funny to lie or to make someone feel small or stupid. Maybe it is “all in fun” but making someone feel and look foolish just is not my idea of fun.
Unfortunately some people have a way of making themselves look foolish. It seems that there are a lot more prayer requests for students beginning in April and the number seems to grow as graduation gets closer. It would appear that one day in April does not have the exclusive on foolish behavior, as we see it escalate through May and June. Have you experienced this phenomenon at your school? The next thoughts concern high school students; however, you may find some application to younger students as well.
Some of the worst stories I have heard concern Christian seniors in high school: good kids who have been good students for twelve and three-quarters years. It is mind-boggling that they would work so hard, behave so well for so long and then, in many cases, damage their future, sometimes irreversibly, in one foolish act. Somehow they get the mindset that the end of their twelfth grade year is the end of the road instead of viewing it as the beginning of the rest of their lives. Many think that the hard work is over when the reality is that it is just beginning. Many think that the previous twelve good years will cover that one bad horrible choice: that somehow life is a balance scale and as long as the good outweighs the bad it is okay. Most of them do not think about the consequences at all or at least do not believe that they will happen to them. But it does.
It just takes that one party leading to several students getting arrested for under-aged drinking, or that one reckless driving incident leading to the deaths of several students in the car. Severe consequences of lost scholarships, retracted acceptances to universities, job loss, legal problems, judicial punishment, and so many more heartbreaking stories could be completely avoided with different choices.
Why? Why does this happen? Does it have to happen? Is there anything you can do to help students avoid some of these foolish decisions? Have you ever had an open discussion in class about how our choices can affect our lives and others’ forever? If not, why? Do you have the kind of relationship with your students where they respect you and share openly and honestly with you?
I would think that it would be hard not to react to or to feel responsible to talk to parents about what a student might disclose. Would it be hard not to lecture them? Would you rather not know what is going on outside of the class since you already have enough to deal with on any given day? Would students even stop and listen to your advice or the stories of other students who, heeding the voice of peer pressure, decided to take a walk on the wild side for a change or thought they were “grown up” enough to make their own decisions, and wound up on the top of the “Fools List?” Would it be worth a try if even one student listens to your wisdom and is saved from a fool’s fate? How can you express that these last months are just as important, if not more so, than all of the others? How can you cast the vision that these last months are really the big beginning and not an ending that needs a big bang? Share your advice and ideas with other Christian educators and pray for each other and your students as these next days and months come and go.
My prayer for you is that you and your students would always listen to advice and never be an April (May or June) fool.
Copyright Kathy Branzell. Email email@example.com