I Failed College Chemistry

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Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Joshua 1:8

I failed college chemistry.

I enjoyed it and even though I had failed my introduction to college chemistry. I actually learned a good bit. Several of those things I can still recall today and actually use in my day to day. I failed the class, but I had a decent teacher, who despite my inability to balance equations and recall the common scientific nomenclature of certain things, was able to teach me a fair amount of material. I failed because I did not actually apply myself, nor did I want to.

Chemistry was a requirement for my diploma, (I am told it no longer is) and it required a lot of time I did not want to invest. There was the class time and the studying plus the lab. Too much for me to do. I attended class, took notes, listened to lecture but I did not fall in love with chemistry. I can tell you that NHO3 is ammonia and that HCO3 is bicarb, NaCl is table salt, and H2O is water but I have no idea what a covalent bond is. I can not recall what the majority of the elements of the periodic table are, although I know Au, Ag, and Pb, like I know my zip code.

I failed the class, but I likely retain a fair amount of material even decades later. I made an A in many other classes, but I have no idea what they are, or much of what I learned. I took bowling, but I know I didn’t make an A in that class; I was the worst bowler my instructor had ever seen. She told me so, and the handicap I had to put me on level with my fellow students was nearly triple digits.

By definition of the college classes I took, the presumed failed class should have made less of an impact on me, yet clearly it did not. Those A classes made such limited impact I can hardly recall the details of them.

As I reflect on life I am discovering it is not always the success in the world’s view that has the greatest impact. It is not always our appearance of having it all together that makes the most impact. I would venture to say it is our transparency and our realness that often is the most memorable, makes the most impact, and brings the most glory to Lord.

We strive to do all things with excellence, but excellence is not necessarily perfection. We are imperfect creatures made perfect by the love of Christ. May  all that we do be beautifully carried out in such a way that brings honor to the King.

Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men. Colossians 3:23

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