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Posted: November 17, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Homework projects

Did you ever have to make a project for school? I was one of four kids and our kitchen was continually used as Project Central. There was always a sigh of relief when the toothpick creation, rolled poster board or shoebox diorama was finally taken to school.

Now, as a parent, we have given our son a permanent shelf assigned for his "works in progress." While he was designing his latest masterpiece, I remembered some unfinished assignments of my own.

During a college Bible study, I was given a difficult challenge. We were studying Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. When we reached verse 13, the teacher stopped and said that we had just reached a lifelong challenge.

Take the word "love" out of the verse below. Substitute your name. Then, read it aloud.

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails" (I Cor 13: 4-8 NIV).

It’s twenty years later, and I’m still trying to complete this assignment. I have realized that the whole point is to become more like Jesus. Unlike the poster or shoebox, I am considered successful if I continue to do all that I can and lean on God for the rest. I know that I can depend on him, because God never fails.

Prayer Starter: Dear Lord, please show me how to take steps to become more loving. Remind me to notice how my attempts affect others. Grant me wisdom to know when to speak and when to listen, when to take action and when to simply wait. Thank you for your generous kindnesses. Amen.

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