Sunday, 1 August 2010

Fear.


It was Friday once again, and Father Ignatius took the Catechism Class at the local Catholic School.

He noticed the children were somewhat subdued and not as perky and chatty as always.

“Is everything OK today?” he asked, “you have never been so quiet … or am I going slightly deaf in my old age?”

They smiled quietly and said nothing at first, then one of them hesitated “have you not heard Father … the school is being inspected tomorrow and we will all have to sit an English test and a Mathematics test set by the inspectors … no one knows what is in the tests …

“Our form teacher, Miss Farthing, said that if we don’t do well compared to the National Average, it will cause repercussions for the school and ourselves …”

“I understand you concerns …” said the priest gently.

“It’s more than concerns …” said another pupil, “we’re afraid and worried out of our minds … no one told us of these tests until a few minutes ago …”

“And what have you done about it?” asked the priest maintaining his gentle tone of voice.

“What can we do?” replied another child, “we’ve been told they’re new national tests and even Miss Farthing doesn’t know what is involved.”

“All right …” continued Father Ignatius, “let’s spend the next few minutes on these tests … no Catechism class today …

“First of all … don’t let your fears guide you; but allow God to do so.

“You have all done various English and Mathematics tests before … and these tests tomorrow, no matter how new and no matter how different, they will only involve material which you have already been taught. I doubt very much the inspectors will test material not on the national curriculum. The tests may be new but not the subjects which you have been taught.

“So do some quick revision … nothing too long and too thorough … just general stuff which you’ve been taught so far and do your best tomorrow.

“The reason you have been given so little time to prepare is deliberate … the inspectors do this to test a whole class at a given point in time with no prior warning. They do this in every school … so you’ll be no different to anyone else.”

He stopped for a while to check they’d calmed down a little.

“And now, if I may … a word or two about fear …

“Often in life we are faced with seemingly insoluble problems. So our first instincts are to work hard at finding a solution … we struggle … we worry … and we fear what may happen next.

“And in our fears and struggles we forget that God has the answer.

“There is no problem, however inconceivable it might be, which may come to us in life which God has not met before. And if God has met it … He sure has the answer and the solution.

“I am not talking just about English or Mathematics tests here … but any problems that you may face as you grow up and become responsible adults … any problems at all … faithfully hand them to God.

“Pray to God and trust Him to show you the way ahead. He wouldn’t be an omnipotent all-knowing God otherwise.

“Our hesitation to hand over our problems to Him, is itself a problem of our own making – not His

“So I repeat what I said earlier … do not let your fears guide you, but allow God to do so.”

He stopped as he physically noticed they’d regained confidence in themselves and their abilities. He led them in prayer that they would do well and allowed them to spend the rest of the afternoon revising English and Mathematics.

8 comments:

  1. Victor,
    I may have to print this one out and hand it out to my students at the learning center when they and their parents start freaking out about state testing next school year.
    God Bless!

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  2. Hi Karinnan,

    The thing is ... no matter what the problem, school tests or whatever, do not let your fears guide you, but allow God to do so.

    You're very welcome to print this story.

    May God bless you always.

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  3. Thanks Victor and thanks for stopping by my blog as well. I liked how you incorporated Fr. Ignatius' words into a prayer we can all use.

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  4. Good advice to all of us, Victor. If we always remembered to bring our difficulties to God our paths would be so much smoother. And I know that He loves when his children ask for his help. Excellent story :)

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  5. Advice to live by. For some reason, I always think it's my job to worry and look for a solution myself--but I usually remember to turn to God once I realize I can't do it by myself. One of these days I'll learn!

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  6. It took me many many years to be able to hand over my problems to God, now it is so normal for me......don't know what took me so long to learn this valuable lesson.......:-) Hugs

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  7. Hi Mary, Sarah and Bernie,

    Thank you so much for visiting me again. I suppose handing over our problems to God isn't always our first instinctive reaction. I know I forget sometimes.

    God bless you Mary, Sarah and Bernie.

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