On Dad’s Shoulders

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Many children in Texas took the standardized STAAR test this week. All of their hard work and all of the teachers’ efforts for the year were put to a test. That can be a lot of pressure for everyone. The school sent home a reminder sheet, “Prepare for Testing Day”:

1. Get a good night of sleep;
2. Eat a good breakfast;
3. Arrive early;
4. Use your testing strategies;
5. Double check your answers.

The morning of the first testing day, I loaded up the car with my three elementary school children. Their bellies were full and they had their sharpest No.2 pencils in hand. On the way to school, I gave them a pep talk. “Take your time. Don’t get nervous. Do the best you can do. You’ve worked hard all year. I know you’ll do great.”

As we approached the school, there were the usual parents scurrying here and there. Children with backpacks were scampering out of cars and making their way to their classrooms. I waited at the intersection while the crossing guard protected the line of children trotting across the crosswalk.

Then I noticed a very tall and youthful dad with his son on his shoulders. His son was smiling and laughing as his dad took the time and effort to trot towards the school. He even stuck his hands out like an airplane in full trust that his dad would not let him fall. This child was about to take the same test as the rest, but he did not have anxiety on his mind. He was focused on the comfort and joy that his dad had to offer.

And then it dawned on me. Our Father! He lifts us up so we can soar on wings like eagles! So I am offering a new “Prepare for Testing Day” list:

1. Pray for wisdom;
2. Have faith that your Father has your back;
3. Do not be anxious, but instead rest in His comfort and have peace;
4. Rejoice in everything; even testing day, because this is the day the Lord hath made;
5. You worked hard all year, so go rock this test and do it for His glory!

My kids and I said a prayer before we exchanged our usual morning hugs, kisses, “I love you” and “Have a great day!” His peace and glory were upon them as they rushed to their classrooms.

We all go through tests in life. Some tests are academic, some are related to work and others are a life test of some sort. And yes, good sleep, good food and good strategies are good things to do to prepare. But let’s not forget our Father! When we have a test, he is always there waiting for us to climb on His shoulders and rejoice. We can do all things through Him who strengthens us. No matter the test, we can soar on wings like eagles.

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