An “F” can mean a lot of things, from failing to do any work at all to just falling short of a passing grade. And after the initial shock wears off, they would be wise to ask “What do I need to do to turn this “F” into a passing grade?”
Let’s think about the way we live our lives in terms of that question. As I see it, there are three ways we can choose to overcome the “F” we each receive, and only one of them is able to accomplish the task.
Some people take the route of foolishness. They decide the test is rigged, or that in the end everyone will be graded on a big fat curve. So they waste their life on trivial things. Having a good time is their primary focus. I am afraid that they will be disappointed in the end. There is incredible mercy with God, but like the prodigal son of Luke 15, it cannot be received if you never come back home.
Others respond to the mess of this life with fear. I see a lot of this in our current situation. Some horrible things have definitely happened in the recent past. And news media has so fixed our attention upon them that it is easy to think that everything is about to fall apart around us. Perhaps some things need to be changed, but the answer is not to withdraw into our fortresses, real or imagined, and wait for the worst to happen.
No, the best way to move forward day by day is the way of faith. But not just any sort of faith. Faith in the goodness of mankind is just foolishness by another name. Faith in yourself is another recipe for fear. I’m speaking of faith in a sovereign God who has revealed himself through Christ Jesus as a loving Father. Real-world faith in God is not an expectation that everything in your life will have a fairy-tale ending either. It is a quiet confidence that no matter what comes your way, He will never leave you nor forsake you.
Don’t follow the way of foolishness. Don’t give in to fear. Walk by faith in God as he has made himself known. It’s the only way to turn your human failure into a passing grade.
Jay Fleming is senior pastor at Goliad’s First Baptist Church