*I apologize if you get this emailed to you two days in a row. I transferred servers yesterday (blah, blah computer talk) after posting this and then this post disappeared. The only solution was to repost it. But from here on out, blog problems I’ve been having should be solved. And the crowds rejoiced!

When I was a junior high math teacher each student received a “free pass” on the first day of the quarter. The pass was theirs to use when they were not able to get their homework done. I didn’t care the reason, if they had run out of time, had a late night at a sporting event, or simply forgot to do their homework, the pass spared me as their teacher from having to listen to at least a little bit of the junior high drama.

I had some of the students for eight quarters in a row and here is where it got interesting, Without fail, a few of the kids used the pass the very next day. The very next day! What?! Why wouldn’t you want to save it? (You can clearly see my wiring).

Others used it sprinkled throughout the quarter.

A few saved the free pass to the very last day of the quarter and used it like a veteran poker player who was getting away with something.

But a few—without fail—never used the pass.

Responsibility and time management skills are admirable. And no doubt those kids probably went on to become capable and dependable employees.

In many ways I can relate to those kids. What if this is the one math assignment that if I don’t do I will become so lost I’ll fail the test and then my grade will be tanked for this quarter?! I better do it.

A few nights ago I was watching a rerun of Major Crimes and the teenage character Rusty Beck said with disgust after he beat a chess opponent, “You call yourself a specially trained operative, but you only think of two moves ahead of you when you play.”

Lightbulb moment.

Those who live life playing too many moves ahead never use their free pass. That which is a useful skill in chess can hamper you if taken too far in life. It is too risky to stop and smell the roses because you never know what will happen if you lift off of the gas pedal.

I am finding myself in a season of few words.

After the words flowing effortlessly for several years, I sit here wondering what to say. I have ideas, I have thoughts, but I don’t have the drive to put them down. The words I do have are going to Velvet Ashes (especially the book club.Click here to see a list of all the books we’ve read) and A Life Overseas (this ismy most recent post). In one writer’s group, my goal for the summer has been not to start a new book now that Love, Amy released. I actually had to make that my goal! Forging ahead is second nature to me.

Using my free pass and trusting that I will not starve and be homeless when I am old is not.

But I sense God sitting at the far side of the lake, smiling at me, asking me to join Him. Will I use the free pass and trust that if I write here a little bit less, it will all be okay in the end?

I’ll be back for the end of the Summer Reading Challenge. Here is a pro-tip for free: feeling behind? Read a graphic novel. I read four in the time it would have taken to read one non-graphic novel :). So, when you see my numbers later this month, don’t be too impressed. Ha! Graphic novels are good summer reading. August 17th is still a ways off, you’re not too late.

This is me, using my free pass. Apparently I am drawn to animals.

See you in a few weeks :).


How about you? When teachers gave you a free pass, did you use it right away? Never? On the last day? How does your wiring influence the free passes life offers us?

Categories: Faith, Personality



Leave A Comment

  1. Beverly Howard August 3, 2017 at 7:23 am - Reply

    Hi Amy,
    I loved this article! However, I don’t remember getting any free passes in school. (Too Old?) I am thinking I might use this with my sweet grandson who on very rare occasions could use a free pass on fighting with his sister. LOL
    I might give myself a free pass too.
    Have a great break.

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