100th day of school: On foot in front of the other
By Elizabeth Prata
The other day was the 100th day of the school year. The kids have 80 more to go, I have 90. We’re over the hump.
It’s amazing how fast time goes. I vividly remember school day 1, in August. Hot, sticky, kids scared, excited, uncertain. Three new classes were transferred to our school and with them, 7 new staff members to meet and get to know. The new year is fresh and full of promise and there were roads we could not see the end of.
Our school has a big celebration, with kids and staff dressing up in 100th day gear, songs played on the intercom at intervals, and general atmosphere of fun.
I was explaining to the kindergarteners about what the 100th day means. I brought it down to their level, saying, “You’ve said the Pledge of Allegiance 100 times. You went into the lunch room 100 times. You got on the bus 100 times.” Their eyes open wide and they are amazed at the big number.
I got to thinking about what I do every day. I unlock the double doors at opening bell and greet each child coming in. I’ve done that 100 times, since I’ve not taken a sick day at all this year. I’ve turned on and off the lamps in my room 100 times. I’ve said the alphabet 100 times.
My job is good but many parts of it are either menial (like opening ketchup packs for kids at lunch), or are important but the yield is hidden and delayed. It’s not often I get a big AHA! from a student with the clouds of inexperience parting to beam light on a newly acquired skill. I just do what I do every day and hope to see results…someday.
As I mulled that it occurred to me just HOW cumulative education is. You can’t see a growth spurt all at once, but looking back, one can see growth. A definite progress. 100 days IS a milestone, and students who entered in August not knowing letters or sounds of the alphabet, are now reading. Those who didn’t know numbers are now adding. Those who never held a pencil are now writing. Wow.
It’s the same with sanctification. You read a Bible passage each day. You pray. You work at killing some sin you’re dealing with. You do this day by day. You don’t see growth. You don’t feel growth. But you ARE growing! It accumulates.
How can it not be? 100 times of anything is a lot. Aren’t we more sanctified after reading the Bible 100 times? Wouldn’t we be closer to God after 100 prayers? Wouldn’t that sin be smaller after killing it 100 times?
It’s also the same with kindness. No job is too menial, too insignificant, too overlooked to have an impact. It might not have a global impact, but it may have an impact on someone’s world. Like this. This man thanks his wife’s stylist for haircut- his wife suffered from dementia, and…well just read it. The stylist may have given 100 haircuts that day, but this one gave a woman her last, best day.
You might not see growth, but be assured, if you are striving, even walking, even occasionally stumbling as you walk, you are growing. It is inevitable. Fruit grows, it doesn’t languish. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. The Spirit in you nurtures growth, because such growth in His likeness glorifies Jesus.