“Ooooo! Nah!” Joan exploded as she marked through the wrong answer on her page so hard that she broke her plastic pencil’s lead and tore a hole in the paper.
“May I help you princess?” her father asked.
Joan slammed her math book shut. “Who cares about math anyhow? Math is just a waste of my time! What do I need math for if I’m going to be a physical education teacher?” She sneered at her stack of high school text books. “What do I need with any of these subjects? Who needs English Literature, History, Government, Graphics! These subjects are dumb and useless!”
“I’m sorry you feel that way, Joan,” her father said.
“Dad it must be nice for you being out of school,” Joan went on. “You don’t have to worry any more about going to classes, taking tests, studying or listening to boring teachers.”
Her father opened his mouth to say something to his upset and frustrated daughter then thought the better of it. Finally he said, “Can this be any harder than you doing the more than 40 push-ups, running the 5 miles I saw you do yesterday afternoon and lifting all of those weights today?”
“Oh, daddy that’s different,” said Joan. “Those things are supposed to make me healthy, alert and strong!”
“I don’t understand, princess,” her father said. “I’ve known quite a few phys ed teachers but I can’t think of one who does as many push-ups, runs as far and lifts as many weights as you do.”
“Daddy, my exercises help me build up strength, endurance, alertness, helps me resist illness and some other stuff.”
“Sounds good,” nodded her father. “Now do you have exercises that build up the whole body?”
“Most of it,” answered Joan.
“How about the brain? Got any exercises for that?”
When Joan didn’t answer, her father said, “Isn’t that what your school work is for? Not so much that you can do these math problems perfectly, but so that your brain can be in shape for other things. Joan, you’ve got hundreds of decisions to make each and every day. More and more of these decisions are going to come your way as you get older and have more responsibilities for yourself and possibly others. How are you going to be in shape to make wise decisions, right choices in life if your mind isn’t in shape?”
“I never thought of history, math, English Literature and the rest of this school stuff as exercising,” Joan said. “I guess it doesn’t make much sense to exercise all but the most important part of the body.” Joan looked up suspiciously at her father. “Daddy you don’t go to school. How do you keep in shape?”
Joan’s father hugged her. “Trying to keep up with you and the rest of you kids in this family is a pretty good workout.”
For many of us Christians, exercising and being students of our faith is as Joan said: “BORING”. It is that way because we refuse to exercise and be students of the faith many say they believe. To exercise Christianity requires us to pray, be good examples to others, attendance and participation in church services and to daily practice what we participate in. Being a student involves Biblical readings and church participation to become knowledgeable with respect to our faith. A more knowledgeable person is able to be a better and more effective Christian.
The book of Proverbs is an advice book. It was written by the wisest man of that time and many believe of all times. It was written in the hope that young people will learn from them. The advice given was valuable then and just as valuable today. One of the main pieces of advice that Proverbs gives is to listen, think about what you are doing or about what to do, and to use the mind that God gave you to learn all that you can.
The writer of Proverbs knew full well that it is tempting to waste time, do nothing and have others do for you what you should for yourself—that is, to ignore such activities as school work and expects “A’s” or to give less to an employer while expecting a full days pay. Often, other things seem more important. But as Solomon grew older and he saw his time on earth slipping away, he wished he would have not wasted his time on trivial matters. There is always more to learn about God. Proverbs and its wisdom was written for you and all who search for truth and that people will use the mind and talents that God has given each person—INCLUDING YOU!