Stefanie Zaner, of Darnestown, Maryland, reached an impressive milestone recently as she graduated from high school. Not once, during 13 years of schooling, was Stefanie marked absent without approval. No missed days for illness or family trips. No college visits or senior skip days. None. Two thousand, three hundred and forty days of perfect attendance (washingtonpost.com, 5-26-09)
How does one accomplish such a feat? Don’t you suppose that, over the span of 13 years, there were days when she didn’t really feel like going to school? Of course. Don’t you suppose that, over the span of 13 years, there were days when she was tired and didn’t want to get out of bed? Of course. Don’t you suppose that, over the span of 13 years, there were other important and valid opportunities that crossed her path? Of course. She was just like anyone else in that respect. But Stefanie Zaner was unlike most others in that she never let anyone or anything distract her from her goal.
Our lives as a disciple of Jesus Christ would benefit from having the same level of commitment. For example, think of how strong our marriages would be if we all determined, with God’s help, to do whatever was necessary to make them successful. Will times come when we are tired of doing the right thing? Of course. Will times come when we really don’t feel like making the effort? Of course. Will outside influences (like career, friends, etc.) compete for our attention? Of course. Will the temptation to “play hooky” come? Of course. But if our goal is the creation of a strong marital bond, then we make our choices accordingly. We don’t give in to the fatigue. We aren’t ruled by our feelings. We say “no” to some people or opportunities (even good people and opportunities) that can divide our loyalties.
Stefanie Zaner’s commitment to school attendance is admirable and the accolades she has received are deserved. May our lives reflect our commitment to an even greater goal – that of knowing and doing the will of God.
God loves you!