Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. 1 Corinthians 9:24 (NASB)
I attended my grandson’s preschool field day last week. He had a great time! He splashed and played so hard, when we came home, he took a two hour nap. I remembered all the years, we came home from field day the same way–tired to the bone. But this field day wasn’t like any I remembered. It had bouncy houses, slip-and-slides, a water sprinkling fountain pool, and squirting nerf thing-a-mabobs. No, I don’t know what those last items are either. I guess they don’t want squirt guns to look like guns these days, so they make them look like big injection needles where you pull out a nerf stopper and it fills up with water, then you push it in and it squirts a huge stream at someone. Has the same effect as a squirt gun, just not the appearance.
I wander. When I was in school, field day was all about sack races, relay races, three-legged races, hurdles, softball games, etc. It was all about competition, and winning ribbons to take home. I wasn’t that athletic, and I rarely won a ribbon, but when I did, I was so happy I nearly burst.
Now, when it came to spelling bees, or other games of mental challenge, it was a different story. I was nearly always near the top of my class, and could compete successfully against almost any challengers, at least until high school when I was put into a class with all brainiacs, and I was the “dumbest” one in there. For five years, on a daily basis, I had to compete against the valedictorian, as well as every other top student in the school.
Again I wander. The topic must be making me ADHD. The question is, have schools today discouraged the spirit of competition to the betterment or detriment of our children? And, yes, I know my grandson is only in preschool. Maybe when he gets older, his field days will be more like I remember. But I tend to wonder.
When kids play T-ball nowadays, they don’t keep score, or count outs. Everybody just has a turn to bat. What’s the point? Why would we want to discourage excellence in athletics, or anything else for that matter? What’s next? Do we just give out participation medals at the Olympics? How would they even know who gets there in the first place? Or do we just randomly pick someone’s name out of a hat to send? Big hat. Must hold a computer.
Even grades don’t mean the same today as they did when I was in school. We were graded on a scale of 100, and it took a 95 to make an A. Now it’s 90, and if you’re in a class like my high school class, a B is an A, so that makes an 80 an A. It would have been a D in my school.
Personally, I think it’s all part of the socialist nature of today’s society. When I was waitressing while Wade was in college, one of the other girls and I were discussing The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand. That was back in 1969. I was a big Ayn Rand fan at the time, and had already read Atlas Shrugged and several of her other books. A customer was astonished that “mere waitresses” could discuss such issues intelligently. I’ve never forgotten that customer’s slap in the face. That’s another issue, but the point I’m trying to make, and Ayn Rand tried to make in all her works is that competition breeds excellence. The lack of competition breeds laziness. Which, in turn, makes it so much easier for a corrupt government to take over and enslave a people. I’m so afraid that’s exactly what we’re seeing today. I don’t know that Ayn Rand was a Christian. All I know is that she had lived under a Communist regime, and she wanted to warn Americans not to let the same thing happen to them. In that sense, to me, she was a prophet.
But I guess the one thing that I’m glad we never have to compete for is God’s love. As the old hymn says, “There’s room at the cross for you.” We can all come to the cross. But that’s just the beginning of the journey. Philippians 3:14 says, “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Paul constantly compares the Christian life to a race. And it’s not a race against anything but the devil and the evil nature still inside of me that needs to be daily put to death. I’m in it to win it. Are you?
Taboo Tuesday Question of the Day: What do you think? Do you agree, or am I overreacting? I want to hear your opinions and experiences.