“So in this class, essentially, I want your kids to become saints.”
They broke out into laughter. I meant for it to be funny in an understated way. But I’m not entirely certain we were all on the same page.
Of course, a classroom of teenagers becoming saints by the end of a semester is laughable. I was sincere, though, about them becoming saints. Probably not by the end of the semester. Definitely not because of me. But, yes, the goal of my class (a Theology class, naturally) is that my students get to Heaven.
At times, I think we forget that. We scoff and say, “Me?! A saint?” No, not yet, probably. But someday, hopefully. Sainthood isn’t too lofty of a goal or setting our sights too high. Rather, it is setting our sights just high enough. We were created with eternity written into our hearts. Anything less is not living up to our very nature. It doesn’t mean that holiness will be easy or come naturally. However, it does mean that holiness is part of the plan, part of our calling.
Is it laughable for a group of teens to pursue Heaven? I’m not their parents and I haven’t even met them yet. But I think sainthood is exactly what the Lord wants from them. Phrased in this way, I have little worry that any of the parents would argue with me that their child(ren) shouldn’t go to Heaven.
There is the difference, however. We think everyone gets to Heaven, but think nearly nobody becomes a saint. One of these two premises must give. So I’ll set my heart on hoping that sainthood is in the plan for all of us, even those blessed high school students I’ll meet next week.