No matter the outcome, just try

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 23, 2009

Snakes? Not really.

Height? No problem.

Lions, and tigers, and bears? Good try.

No, I’m not afraid of any of those things, but that doesn’t mean that I am without fear. There’s nothing that causes my heart to skip a beat quite like a notification from Edline.

If you’re unfamiliar with Edline, it’s an online service used by schools that allow parents instant access to their child’s grades. Gone are the good old days when you received a report card every nine weeks, and threatened the kids until you got the next one.

Not only are the grades always accessible, I get e-mail notifications when a new grade is posted. And thanks to my husband’s technical savvy, my e-mail goes straight to my phone. As soon as a new notification pops up, I cringe. I close my eyes so I can concentrate as I contemplate my decision. Do I open it immediately? Do I wait until I’m already in a bad mood so Edline doesn’t ruin a good day? Do I wait until Victoria is home so that I can fire questions directly at her? What aggravates me more than anything else is finding a “0” for a homework grade. There are simply no excuses for that, and she offers none.

I mean, really, just do the assignment. I don’t demand perfection, just completion. Show me that you are trying to put into practice what the teacher has taught you. Just do the required assignments, please.

I don’t get nearly as upset over test grades. Not even when one of my children (not Victoria) brought home a science test with an “F,”

and a note from the teacher, “This was an open book test.” I signed the test and wrote back, “Which book did she have open? Surely not science.”

I really should show more patience because sometimes I miss an assignment, too. I don’t always do what God tells me to do. Assignments could include encouraging a friend, making a hospital visit, picking up a new project or dropping an old one. I’ve been known to procrastinate until it’s too late or get stuck in the details, striving for perfection, only to abandon the whole thing.

Somehow I think that God just wants me to try. Even if I fail, I believe that He just wants me to make an effort. I don’t want any more assignments marked “incomplete.”

Showing up in Heaven without completing an earthly assignment is truly my greatest fear.

Ronny may be reached at rmichel@rtconline. com.