MAP or Measures of Academic Progress tests are used in schools as a means of evaluating student progress. The MAP tests are taken three times a year, fall, winter and spring. These tests let you see student learning over the course of a school year. They have the average where most students should be or students get tracked higher or lower. You, the educator, get to see all this data plotted on a colorful chart and tracked over time. You can see the projected and hoped for path of learning the student should take. You can see just where the student was ever since they have started taking the tests. It is really a very good thing for teachers and that means a good thing for me as I am a teacher.
The students have taken the tests twice so far this year. All but one has increased. It really doesn’t matter where the students start from as long as their learning is increasing and not decreasing. You always want their line to be going up. Then, at least, they are learning. If necessary, I can change my tactics to teach differently, to change things up and maybe spark a student to want to learn. Sometimes you have to do that. I don’t want to let even one student slip down.
The thought struck me as the students were taking their MAP tests, maybe we, as children of God, need our own MAP tests. Wouldn’t it be wonderful and easy if you could look on a chart and see how much your faith had grown? Or see how much closer to God you have gotten? Maybe you would find out you needed to change your ways to draw closer to Him. Getting to heaven to be with God might be easier. Then again, there are always the procrastinators. These are the ones who would watch their chart and do whatever they wanted until just the last moment and then pull them out of their downward dive. They would hope they could anyway.
But that’s not God’s way. The only way to get to heaven and get closer to God is the same way it has always been. Study your Bible and pray. Listen to God speak to you. Do what He says and make it become habit. We really don’t need a chart in that case. You know if you are becoming closer to God or are going away from Him. And if you don’t, I am sure your friends or family could tell you. It will be able to be seen in your actions.
What do you really, really want? Deep down inside of you? Think about it. All of us need God. He is waiting to help us. He is ready to change his lesson plans so you don’t go down. God wants all of us to be with Him in heaven. All He asks is we follow His plan. Have faith. Faith also requires action on our part. Take the first step. He is waiting to listen to you, to help you, to hug you. All we have to do is take His hand and follow Him.