Wednesday, August 3, 2011
When I was in Kindergarten my teacher had an empty glass jelly jar that sat on top of a piano, you know the kind with the tin screw on top. She told us that everyday we behaved she would put a blue marble in the jar. When the jar filled up we'd all be able to go on a picnic at the park and slide down the grass hill sitting on cardboard. So as a class we tried really hard to sit still and be quiet to acquire the marble. You can imagine thirty kindergartners trying to sit still and listen. It was really hard. I also remember having a great insatiable desire to posses the marbles in the jar. I wanted them so badly that every time I passed them as I walked by my heart would beat faster. So I took them. I took them by the fist full. Though my fists were small I still managed to deplete the jar fairly quickly. Soon enough the teacher knew someone was taking the marbles. She asked the class if they knew where they were. We all said no. Somewhere deep down inside I knew the truth would get out and I would be found out. The teacher stopped putting marbles in the jar until we found out who the culprit was. So, one day after school I let her know it was me and I brought all of the marbles back. It was one of the most humiliating situations in my life. I for some reason thought I should have what I wanted but was caught between my desires and the reality that I had been taking something that did not belong to me. The teacher was gracious and she awarded my repentance by taking the whole class out on the picnic a week after I confessed. Sometimes we struggle with owning up to the things we do that are wrong, especially when we know they are wrong. Owning up to the areas in our lives where we handle ourselves in a sub-prime manner requires something of us we don't see glorified in our culture. That is humility and repentance. Both of which require honor, respect and courage. The task of being a person who "owns up" or takes responsibility for their actions in life requires true virtue.