Two of my students pulled a mutiny. They had tried this once before, and received a short speech that was probably over their heads until they applied it.
“This classroom is not run according to a democracy, so get over this business of thinking you have a vote. You don’t. When it comes to lessons and other important matters, there can only be one teacher. In that way this classroom is more of a kingdom or a dictatorship. If you don’t understand those words, think of it this way: God place me here as your teacher. The best answer when you hear me tell you it’s time to do something is, ‘Yes ma’am’ and do it quickly.”
The Grammar curriculum asks that we classify sentences prior to each test. Two decided they were ready to take the test without this extra teaching. “Aw! Do we have to? We already know that stuff. Can’t we just take the test?”
Being gracious and willing to allow even that, I said, “Sure,” and handed over the workbooks. With my other hand I reached for a marker. Students who had been with me last year knew what was coming next, and rolled their eyes in amusement. As soon as the workbooks were handed over, I wrote two names on the board, indicating these two had disciplinary sentences to write.
“What for?” One demanded.
“You tell me,” I replied.
He thought for a moment. “Oh, for being the teacher.”
That is precisely what the sentences read: “I will not be the teacher. I will listen to lessons.” Both recited the First and Fourth Commandments, too.
First Commandment rolling down to the Fourth… childrearing by cartoons and McBurgerKing eventually will have its way out. Not all things are given to up to our choice, and yet we are responsible for the consequences of our choices in this life. Such a paradox for young ones to learn! Harder still for those who have learned that if they can argue their way into something by whining at a young age, they now think they can try to argue their way out of a tough situation later.
No wonder that the Lord of Life and Salvation finds His Gifts so difficult to be received, yet so easily chosen. Franchise uber alles, after all. That is the character of the First Sin. “Yes, Jesus, I’ll take one of this, and two of that because, You see, I’ve been this and that, and I think, and I believe…” How will it be on the Last Day? Will there be arguments made before the Throne of Grace, each one a lawyer?
There is but one Accuser, one Defender. In the former all are spoken of plainly as were are: sinners who ought to be damned. This cannot be refuted. Yet the Defender reminds His Father, “This one is Mine. His sins are on Me. He confessed Me before others, now I confess Him before you and all the hosts of heaven (Lk 12:8). Let him be released.”