I am not a good speller. I blame my 7th grade teacher because she didn’t focus on spelling. In her words, “Someday you will have computers spelling for you.” Prior to 7th grade, however, spelling bees were agony for me. Public speaking comes rather easily to me, but public spelling does not. At my 6th grade spelling bee, I intentionally misspelled the first word so that I could sit down. My teacher, Mr. Winters, looked disappointed, but allowed me the intentional fail.
Flash forward thirty five years; my son, Ethan, is preparing for his 6th grade spelling bee. He has been diligently reading through the list for over a week now. This morning, in the car on the way to Saint John’s, he practiced the huge volume of words, three at a time. It seems as if my 7th grade teacher’s prediction is only partially true. Computers do help us spell but spelling is still a part of school curriculum.
The virtue for the month at Saint John’s School is doing our best, both for the Lord and ourselves. Ethan has the option to not do his best and to follow his dad’s footsteps of intentionally failing the 6th grade spelling bee. From his diligent preparation, I can tell you that, although he is not comfortable standing up and spelling words in front of a crowd, he’s going to give it his best shot. This past week, we heard in Sunday’s Gospel lesson about Nathaniel proclaiming that Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus smiled (at least I imagine him smiling) and said, “Truly, you will see greater things than this.” Nathaniel, in my opinion, was uncomfortable about proclaiming about who Jesus was. I think his proclamation took him out of his comfort zone which is perhaps why Jesus said he’ll see greater things than this.
As I listened to Ethan spell, “infringing” “endeavor” “ipso facto” “guffaw” and “veracity,” I wondered what would have happened if I had practiced and did my best in the spelling bee. It also got me thinking that we never heard about Nathaniel’s friends. I bet that he had some, yet none of them said Jesus is the Son of God. Imagine what would have happened if they did. Truly they did not see “greater things than this.”
I wonder if God is calling you out of your comfort zone. I wonder if you take God up on the calling, what greater things you will see.