I Blog For Books

15 March 2009

Flirting With Disaster

Before you think that this is a strange title, or even strange topic for a devotion, let me try to explain what lies behind it. As most of you know, I'm currently in school. This semester has shown me exactly how difficult it is to try and maintain a gpa, work two jobs, and have something at least in some way resembling a life - or at least something other than work-school-eat-sleep. Note the order ... maybe it has something to do with sleep deprivation ... maybe that's a topic for another devotion. Anyway, back to my story. (written 10 Apr 2008)

The first time I returned to school with the express purpose of earning a degree and not just to take a class here and there was 1998. At that point, I was living in New York, and my children were 12, 9, and 5. I adjusted my schedule as much as I could, especially that first year, to coincide with their school schedules. There were several late nights and early mornings (I distinctly remember typing the final draft of my English 101 paper at 6 a.m. the morning I had to turn it in), but no real struggle as far as studying goes. My gpa sat at a 4.0 until my final semester, when I decided that I needed to take Microeconomics. Needless to say, I ended up with a B in that class, tumbling the 4.0.

Fast forward 7 years: it's the fall of 2007 and I'm once more enrolled in school. Things are different now ... my children are 21, 18, and 14 when school starts this time. My 21 year old has a daughter of her own and lives halfway across the world in Germany. My 18 (almost 19) year old is starting his own college career at Arizona State University. My 14 (almost 15) year old is in New York with dad and stepmom. I arrange my work schedules to accommodate my classes, and dive in. I can do this ... no problem! There were some struggles, but I managed to finish last semester with three A's and one B (English 102). That in no way prepared me for this semester. Thinking to myself "I can handle this ... ", I loaded my schedule. Microbiology, Anatomy and Physiology I, Ethics, and Algebra. This semester has been hard fought and a serious struggle. Microbiology, by no means an easy subject, has stuck in my brain far more than the Anatomy that I am constantly struggling with. I study, and am not retaining. I look, and am not seeing what I need to see. My final grade in A & P is looking more and more like a "C" ... and that is if I do well on the next lab test, lab final, and final exam. When I say do well ... I mean make an A. The higher my "A's" on the remaining tests, the higher my final "C" will be. The other classes? Right now, two B's and one A, and I believe I can maintain that. My pride is wounded, my ego hurt. I've never been a C student! It is hard to wrap my brain around that concept. To me, it feels like failure.

For some reason, the Molly Hatchet song "Flirtin With Disaster" came to my mind this morning after taking (and most likely flubbing) a lab quiz. Look at the opening lyrics:

Well I'm travelin' down the road,
I'm flirtin' with disaster.
I've got the pedal to the floor,
My life is running faster.

I can so relate to that! My grades make me feel like a failure. I have to stop and take stock of what is positive and going well. I have the ability ... can I bring it out once more?

I'm out of money,
out of hope,
it looks like self-destruction.
Well, how much more can we take

While it may feel like self-destruction ... it is not. I don't have a lot of money, and I am certainly not out of hope. How much more can I take? I can take whatever I have to, because God is with me and will not give me more than I can handle. There is always hope ... for God is always with me.

God, thank you for giving me the ability to come as far as I have. I know with your help and guidance, I will meet my goals. My grades may not always be where I think they should be, but there are times when I have to adjust the way I look at things and make sure that I am focused on you. Give me the strength to share you in everything that I do.

"You will surely forget your trouble, recalling it only as waters gone by. Life will be brighter than noonday, and darkness will become like morning. You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety. " ~Job 11:16-18 NIV

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