Just One More

A Single Decision Can Have Lasting Effects
July 1, 2020

I was so excited! School had been shut down due to a new virus and we would be doing our learning from home. Just hearing the phrase “not going to school” brought a smile to my face. Not only would I get extra time in the morning to sleep, but they were also going to let me borrow a computer and headphones for me to connect with my teacher over the internet. Even though I was in fourth grade, I felt so grown up, as if I was living in the future. Every day we logged in to Zoom, listened to my teacher give the lessons for the day and spent time doing our assignments and projects throughout the rest of the afternoon.

One afternoon I got a little bored while reading a long chapter for my reading assignment, so I thought I would take a five-minute break. I went to YouTube.com to watch one cartoon episode for about 10 minutes then get back to my assignments. After watching the video, I thought to myself, “It won’t hurt if I watch one more.” However, after watching the second video, there was a preview for a clip with funny videos. I could not resist. Before I knew it, I had spent nearly two hours watching video after video. Needless to say, I did not get most of my assignments done for the day. Unfortunately, since I had my headphones in, mom and dad had not noticed that I had been watching these videos and not doing my assignments. I decided to take some time the next day to do the same. To make it worse, I kept doing this all the way through the end of the week. That Friday afternoon my parents received a text message from my teacher informing them that about half of my assignments were missing.

My parents were shocked as they had always seen me on my computer “working hard.” After a long conversation with my parents about the missing assignments, I finally confessed that I had been spending a lot of time watching cartoons and funny videos. They were very sad to hear my confession. Seeing their sadness made me very sad.

The following week I had to begin my journey to catch up on all of my assignments. It was not easy. It was not fun. It was like eating brussels sprouts…with no ranch. It seemed like the more I tried to keep up with my current assignments and finish my missing assignments, the more I got behind. It was a long uphill journey for the next few weeks before I finally got caught up. My one decision weeks ago had long lasting effects, and boy did I regret it.

The Bible reminds us in 1 John 1:9 that “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Recognizing my mistake was not easy, and even a little embarrassing to admit. I learned that until I acknowledged my bad choices to my parents and my God, I could not begin a new path. When I was willing to accept my bad choices, my parents were able to help me and guide me in making better choices. It was then that they were able to help me make sure my assignments were finished. I am thankful for my parents and a God who gave me another chance.

By Daniel Ortega