As so many kids have now gone back to school via virtual learning, I imagine this “give me strength” prayer has burst forth from many a parental lip. Unless someone is an experienced homeschooler or knows the ins and outs of distance learning, this prayer is most certainly an accompaniment to the day. Things like Zoom meetings. Google Classroom. Scanning homework. Managing “seat work,” while keeping a wiggling, early-elementary student from distracting their middle school sibling across the room.
During a dark period, Paul confided to the Corinthians: “We think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters, about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it.”
I can view my daily life with God as a journey where I follow His leading, ask for His wisdom, and depend on His power. I’m the disciple; He’s the Teacher. I’m the sheep; He’s the Shepherd. I’m the child; He’s the Father. All of these images are biblical, but they aren’t the whole story.
I was talking on the phone with my sister-in-law. “We’re saved by grace, but then duty takes over. It’s like we believe that in order to hear ‘Well done,’ it’s a lot of work and little play. No savoring the good things in life,” she lamented.
In 2016, Angela Duckworth published her research-based book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance. It instantly hit the New York Times bestseller list. Its popularity came from Duckworth’s theory that success isn’t defined so much by talent as it is by passion pursued with perseverance.
“Mindfulness” is a popular word these days. The dictionary defines it as “a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.”