Tonight, our school, Trace Academy, will hold our graduation and awards ceremony. Unlike other schools, we don’t give individual awards for attendance, or service or scholarship. Those often are just compiled by the few. Instead, we give each child an award for character. Each teaching team spends a lot of time praying and pondering on each child and what we have seen in them this year. We want to encourage those things. We pick a character trait that we have seen in them such as honesty or good friend or resourcefulness and present them with that at the ceremony, along with a ribbon and a magnet with that word and a Bible verse that goes along with it.
Character counts. It’s who you are when no one is looking. It’s not the persona of an athlete or a scholar or a good citizen who picks up trash or feeds the homeless or collects money for the starving children in Africa. Those are all good things. But in the dark, where only God can see you, are you humble and gentle of heart? Do you pray for the salvation and needs of the world? Do you love others like Jesus loved? Are you honest and pure?
I will be up on the stage tonight, handing to my 10 second graders blue ribbons and magnet cards, but what I really hope to hand to them is encouragement to keep letting God build in them good character, which is only produced by perseverance.
“Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us” (Romans 5:3-5).
Thankful today for:
333. summer break!
334. our Incredible Journey plans coming together
335. the opportunity to sleep in, even if it doesn’t happen
336. my friend Sheryl, celebrating her birthday today
337. tonight’s event
338. sweet gifts and cards from my students