The Syllabus

For those of us with the “J” personality trait from the Myers-Briggs Indicator Test, the syllabus is essential. It is needed for calculating grades, seeing what comes next, and seeing how far behind we’ve gotten in the class. It contains the benchmarks needed for success in a given class and must be respected at all costs.

Yesterday and today, on the first and seconds day of school, I had to sign 12 syllabi. As my children approached me to sign said syllabi I started to get a bit anxious. What is it exactly that my kids will be doing that require my signature? Is this like an unbreakable vow, where I have to finish their work if for some reason they are unable to do so?

Then I took a deep breath and thought back. WAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYY back to 5th and 6th grades. What was it that I didn’t do that I needed to impart as wisdom to my sons? Well, somewhere on the long list of things was “respect thy syllabus.” Your teacher has just given you cliff notes of what is coming up in your class. Things may stray a bit from the path but for the most part – this is what you can expect. Do this and you will succeed.

I’m not sure if they got it. Time will tell. But for now I’ve done my duty and can feel confident that my signature was not given in vain.

As I think about it, God has given us a syllabus as well:

1) Love God
2) Love others as yourself

Discipline issues: Grace and forgiveness will be given
#1 and 2 above comprise 100% percent of grade. There is no curve.

Seems simple enough right? At times it is but at times there’s also a gray area that confuses those of us who are mere mortals. It involves trust and belief in things that we can’t always see or explain. It involves faith.

I have faith that my kids will do well this year if they follow the syllabus. Other things may pop up for them that are unclear but in the long run it will better prepare them for the future.

I know that God isn’t finished with me yet. He’s still preparing me for the future. At times I’d like a more detailed syllabus but for now I’ll rejoice that I’m not alone. I have a purpose and I am called to equip others to transform the world.

Until Everyone Hears,

What are your thoughts?