I was thinking about King David, and what kind of man he was. A few weeks ago I watched a Bible history show on TLC or History Channel or one of those, I can’t remember the details. Anyways, they detailed his accomplishments when he was young—the famous David and Goliath showdown, how he helped alleviate the King’s headaches through his music, his rise to power.
What strikes me is that David had a few talents as a youth, specifically playing the harp and using a sling shot. These two talents might not be too impressive today, and they probably weren’t super impressive back then, either. It’s how David used his skills that made him exceptional. Who could have guessed that a slingshot could take down the toughest warrior of that time? But David had faith in God and confidence in himself to accomplish the task set before him.
Likewise, the harp was probably played by several members of the royal court, but David used his skills to calm the King. This allowed David to be present during all kinds of important discussions and he absorbed that information. As they say, knowledge is power; and eventually David grew into a savvy politician and stepped right into the throne when the King died.
This is nothing like the message that is being sent to kids today. The messages our children get from teachers and parents is to finish school, focus on grades, academics is more important than sports or the arts. And that message has good intentions—we want our next generation to be a thoughtful, educated, intellectual bunch. However, it is in the sports and arts that kids learn to be team players, to get along with people they may not like, to hone their skills, and to let their passion and creativity have full reign. This is critical if we want the next generation to be innovative and find new and better ways to do things.
Yes, grades are important, but it is the extracurricular activities where our children learn their true identities, discover talents and God-given gifts, and become well rounded individuals. I don’t think David was so concerned with his abacus that he forgot to practice his music and sling shot skills.
For me, this means letting my children make an occasional bad grade without severe consequences or added pressure from me, and allowing them the space, time, and freedom to try new things and practice their hobbies. I enjoy sitting back and watching them blossom into what God intended for their life.