Covering for a colleague away for a sports tournament today, I had the task of supervising three grade 9 classes. Two were fine, with most students doing what was asked of them and without much, if any grief.
One class took every opportunity to be as rude and defiant as possible. I asked the group if they were for real- that what I was seeing was an accurate picture of who they were and what they thought was important. One kid jeered that she wasn't doing anything she didn't normally do or that wasn't something she was absolutely proud of. A bunch of her classmates ate it up and cheered her on as she wasted hers and everyone else's time. I thanked her for her input and ended the conversation.
Meanwhile, there were about a half dozen students making every effort to do what their teacher had left for them to do in an unbelievably noisy and distracting environment, paying little heed to the silliness surrounding them.
I thought about it after school and was amazed at the difference in the two groups. One group not only thought school was important for them, but they showed that it was by the way they acted and worked regardless of who was in the room and responsible for the class.
The other group showed they thought that peer approval and getting their own way was important, and they were prepared to do whatever it took to achieve what they valued.
Just showed me again how critical it is to watch what you think and dwell on in your mind, what you give air time to in your own thoughts and imagination. If you fill the space with foolishness, then you end up spending your life foolishly and having little to show for it. If you fill it with wisdom, truth or character, you end up paying the price and seeing things develop in your life that bear long lasting and beneficial dividends.
It got me thinking about what I fill my mindspace with regularly, and how that translates into how I am spending my time. I might not think about how to make people look silly, but that doesn't mean everything I am dwelling on is worthwhile or true or beautiful.
Maybe it's because I'm 30, or because I have a son now, or just because I've lived enough to understand, but I see now that time is either spent on things that will last and have value or on things that are ultimately without worth or a waste- there is no middle ground. It either matters in the long run, or it doesn't.
Help me, Jesus, to spend my life investing instead of spending, to give my thoughts to things that pay back benefits for life instead of things that cost me time, life and effort. Help me to be fruitful in all things, regardless of whether it's an easy time to be fruitful or not. I want my life to matter like yours did.