It is, after all, very hard.
Teachers are having to learn how to teach remotely. There new tools to use. New ways to communicated. New ways to assess work, and none of it is easy.
Students are having to learn remotely. There are a million log-ins to keep up with. It is harder to ask questions and get answers. In addition, there is plenty of social distance from friends, and one gets stir crazy being stuck in the house.
Parents are having to juggle even more responsibility. They did not sign up for homeschool, which is a lot of work on top of the enormous amount of stress we all fill. Many cannot work, but there are bills to pay. Many can work, but they may be taking a risk with their own life. To make matters worse, there is the constant stress of possibly making someone else sick. Now, we are adding distance learning on top of all that.
To make matters worse, no one can go to church and find a time of solace amidst the chaos.
We are going to finish the school year? Why?
There are many reasons I can think of, but one stands out in my mind. One day, these students are going to be middle aged adults with kids. They will sit on the porch with a cold glass of sweet tea, and tell them about the pandemic that rocked the entire world. They will talk about how the world stopped. They will talk of economic collapse. They will talk about how their world changed following this intense scare.
I truly believe they will talk, perhaps with a little smile on their face, about how this virus could not stop them from accomplishing what they set out to do. They might talk about how this lesson of endurance stayed with them as they met many more of the inevitable challenges of life. They might pass on lessons of endurance and commitment. They might talk of how it shaped them for the good. They might even quote the words of the apostle Paul.
As Paul contemplated the end of his life, he said in 2 Timothy 4:6-7:
For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith.
I know here that Paul is contemplating the end of his great life. But that great life was made up of many moments where God taught him to endure. There were beatings, slanders, shipwreck, snake bites, abandonment, and physical ailments, just to name a few.
All of those moments made him the man he was; one who learned to finish the race, even when things looked impossible.
Our children will go on to do amazing things, many of which will take persistence and endurance. Maybe God will use this time to shape them into the kind of people who stay married when things get hard; who will keep loving their kids when they seem so unlovable; and who help carry us across the finish line when our strength is gone.
May they learn to finish what they start, and may the world be better for it!!!!