Goal Crazy

by Bob Smiley as told to Bob Smiley

My mom and I each grabbed a shopping cart and headed in different directions.

“This time only get what’s on the list,” she said.

“I’m picking school supplies, Mom,” I said. “Of course I’ll only get what’s on the list.”

I headed to the toy aisle.

First on the list was a calculator, so I picked up a PSP. This thing had tons of cool math games on it. I also needed glue, so I found a robot tiger that shot sticky stuff out its mouth.

Next on the list was “ruler.” Jesus is my Ruler, so I had that one covered! This left three items. I’d only been shopping for five minutes and was almost done.

The main thing I needed was a backpack. My old one still smelled like skunk. I spied a cool sleeping bag with straps on it. The list didn’t say how big the backpack should be, and I could fit all my books in the sleeping bag. Plus, it was white, so I could use it to dress up as a burrito for my church’s harvest party. A backpack and costume all in one—talk about a money-saving item!

As I reached for the sleeping bag, my mom walked up. Ten minutes later I had a boring calculator, a glue bottle, this weird brown stick with markings on it, a small backpack and no idea what to wear to my church’s harvest party.

 

The next morning after my alarm clock went off for the fifth time, I grabbed my list of goals for the school year:

1. Don’t hit snooze alarm in the morning.
2. Make all A’s and B’s or learn how to make my parents think C stands for “Colossally Good.”
3. Be nice to Donny by not using big words around him.
4. Run for school office! “President Bob”—that has a ring to it!
5. Eat healthier (not three helpings of tater tots).
6. Live so everyone knows I’m a Christian without asking.

Twenty minutes later, I ran outside as the bus pulled up. I said a quick prayer and hurled myself straight onto the bus. Whack!

I then realized why my mom says it’s sometimes OK to pray with your eyes open—the bus driver hadn’t opened the door yet. I stepped back . . . a little dazed . . . and tried again. Once on the bus, my nose filled with a familiar smell.

“Hey, Clint! Still got your leather smell! I mean, jacket,” I said.

Then I saw a leg shoot out across an empty seat. I had really missed “Leg Cramp Girl.”

I tried to find another seat but was blinded by the sun reflecting off of Glasses McQueen’s glasses.

“Yo! AB,” McQueen shouted. “Sit by me.”

I sat down ready for the new school year and excited about what God had in store for me. As the bus took off, I had a big grin on my face— until I saw my backpack sitting in front of my house!

This article originally appeared in the September 2009 issue of Focus on the Family Clubhouse magazine. Copyright © 2009 by Bob Smiley. Used by permission. Illustration © Gary Locke.