Back to school: Learning about life

Posted: Friday, August 25, 2000

Back to school. New clothes, classes, schedules, supplies, teachers, friends; the list goes on.

School will be a brand new experience for some, an old routine for most with 12 or 13 years spent moving along the grades to the goal of the high school diploma. After that, more schooling. Indeed, learning is a lifelong journey.

Ray Kroc of McDonald's said, "As long as you're green, you're growing. As soon as you're ripe, you start to rot.

Quite a contrast to illustrate the need for more learning.

Along the pathways of learning there are no shortcuts. One writer stated "The longest distance between two points is a shortcut." The easy way is not necessarily the best way.

The story is told of a young man who approached the Greek philosopher Socrates with a request for knowledge. Socrates led him to the water and they waded in. He suddenly grabbed the young man, dunked him under and held him there. Bringing him up, he asked what the youth's request was. The young man replied, "Knowledge." Socrates again shoved him under the water for a long time. The second time he came up the young man gasped, "Air, I want air." Socrates told him, "When you want knowledge as much as you want air, you shall have it."

I doubt such a teaching technique could be used today without legal action, but it does illustrate a point. If you have enough fire and desire for something, it can usually be achieved.

The Scripture says this about Jesus in his youth, "And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man." (Luke 2:52). The God who created everything was now revealed in the human form of Jesus from Nazareth. How did the one who spoke everything into existence handle learning things as a boy?

Indeed, he astonished the elders in Jerusalem with his understanding and answers at the tender age of 12. What was it like for him to learn the trade of carpenter; to build coffins but look ahead to when he will bring the dead back to life, to fashion crutches when he could heal the crippled? What was it like to go to the synagogue with the other young boys to study the Word of God while he was the word made flesh? (John 1:14) Such questions remain a mystery.

In all our learning today, it is so important to learn things that effect not only this life, but the life to come. Truth became both a doctrine and a person in the face of Jesus Christ. He claimed, "I am the way, the truth, and the life." (John 14:6)

The apostle Paul's writings acknowledge the great mystery of godliness, "God was manifest in the flesh." (I Timothy 3:16) Learning this will change our lives.

It is vital that we all gain that personal knowledge of what God can be to us and apply it to our lives. The benefits and blessings of such a relationship with Jesus are out of this world. Peter's admonition is appropriate, "But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, To him be glory both now and forever Amen." (II Peter 3:18)

Mitch Glover is the pastor of the Sterling United Pentecostal Church located at Swanson River Road and Entrada. Everyone is welcome to attend to learn more about Jesus and experience his presence and promises.

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