I was an elementary music teacher when my wife and I were first married. Those four years of teaching were fun, exciting, draining, fulfilling, aggravating, creative – just wild! They also still (so many years later) provide me with the occasional silly story.
But I clearly remember my biggest regret.
It was the end of the year and there was 5th grader we’ll call George.
George had been cutting up and acting a fool all year long. He was a smart kid from a great family who was just acting out to impress the other kids in the class. George’s parents were super involved at the school and were quite supportive of me and the music department – and they were well aware of how their son was goofing off in my music class.
Now at the end of the year the school would hold a drawing of $200 cash – for anyone on the A-B Honor Roll! Unfortunately, George’s antics all year had dropped his music grade to below what was needed to qualify (a S instead of an E).
George and his parents quietly came to me to ask if anything could be done in regards to his grade in music. Now – it should be noted George’s parents were very quick to say that he had earned his grade through his actions, which carry consequences – a lesson they were happy for him to learn.
I thought about changing his grade.
After all – we’re talking about a grade in 5th grade music…
But I didn’t.
I spoke with George and told him his grade is the consequence of how he behaved throughout the school year; and he should try to follow directions better next year.
It was fine. George was disappointed. His parents wished he could have been in the drawing for the cash, but they understood.
That was just dumb.
I had the opportunity to not teach a lesson in Grace, and I blew it.
Now, I know there are many chances in life to learn of consequences, but not near enough to experience and learn of Grace.
If I could, I would go back and sit down with George and not talk about the consequence of his behavior; but about the free gift of Grace.
May we remember we are all saved by the Grace of God through the Love and sacrifice of Jesus Christ.