Monday, September 13, 2010

Back to School - Education and Jesus

We sat around the dining room table playing Scrabble. "Is 'xertz' a word," my brother asked?

"You can't ask. Play it, and we can challenge you if we want." my mother snapped.

I rolled my eyes looking at my tray of letters. "I'll never be good at this," I thought to myself. "I only know two words that start with "x" - well, I don't have the "x" anyway.

Lots of folks are back to school, my little one just started first grade. Your Kingdom Bloggers are back from their Summer break, and ready to write inspired and uplifting blogs with a personal touch.

Education was a big deal in my home. My mother had attended some of the world's best schools including: Wells College, Yale University and the New School in New York. It seems she had more degrees than a thermometer. Dinner time included a lot of grammar correction, as well as intellectual talk. It sort of bored me - I'm no intellectual. 4 out 6 of those who sat at that table were of the certified on paper, genius variety.

In that sort of environment, school was not fun. I was just an average kid, trying to carve out an existence amongst intellectual giants. My mother, an educator, tried everything she could think of to get me to read. She bought me magazines: Hot Rod, Motocross Weekly, and American Photography. It worked a little bit.

In middle school, when grades mattered; I wasn't getting very good ones.

Since that time I have earned to enjoy grandiloquent writing, and do a little of it myself. At age 19, two years after I graduated at the bottom of my class, I finally decided to go to college. I studied 2 years at a 4-year school, and then transferred to another school where I triple majored. I took some classes a few other colleges to round out my education. In 1988 I decided to study art, and went two more years. Oh, and then there was the seminary classes and Bible school. Oh, and more school for computer science - I turned out to be a lot like my mother.

Recently, I spoke to my wife about entering a master/doctoral program that included some online classes. After all, I just paid off my student loans. My wife is my biggest cheerleader, and was very supportive - she always is.

I looked over the courses, downloaded the application form, and because there was no rush with school starting months down the road, I went on about my life. Last July I was in church, and woman named Sarah came over to me. She said, "I was watching you during worship this morning, and I felt led to share the following: You are an educated man, and you've compared yourself to others - you want to know what they know. But I feel the Lord wants you to know, that he is training you, and he will provide the very knowledge you need to succeed. I don't know if it is God or not, but I was a very strong impression."

If one were to intellectualize this "message", it isn't very meaningful. For me, it was the "word of the Lord." I have done just that which she said. All they way back to my first Scrabble game, I wanted to be as smart and educated as others. I already have 9 years of college. I fantasized about having Phd after my name - that sort of thing. All of my favorite teachers have doctorates.

The words Sarah gave me changed that. What I really want is to know Jesus.

A few days later, I was feeling relieved. School is a huge sacrifice when I am already working full-time, trying maintain a family, and play in a band. I constantly tell my wife, "I don't need more to do."

I am thankful that God has plans for me, and as I sit and blog, and meditate on his word, He teaches me.

Philippians 3:7 But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. 10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.

How about you, do you feel you have enough education to serve God, or do you need to go back to school?


Tracy said...

As to your question, I definitely have enough education to serve God because I think my service is about Him, not me. It's about seeking Him, seeing what He is doing, and joinging Him.

But that's not to say that I can't always be growing and learning. I know that sometimes God leads some people to obtain more formal education for what it is He's calling them to do, but I don't feel that's me right now.

Tony C said...

I've never found your writings bombastic other than in the sense you can go on a rant from time to time. But that's the fun of blogging!

Thanks to the Great Comforter...I have all God needs me to have to effectively serve Him. That includes my fellow Kingdom Bloggers that I am ever thankful for being a part of that service.