study 2Dad is a retired engineer, a graduate of Purdue University, a true Boilermaker is ever there was one.  He was the first of his family to go to college, not a small accomplishment having been born at the start of the Great Depression.  After his stint in the Navy, and a bit of disgruntlement with the union’s treatment of his hard work ethic, he decided to go back to school.  So here was a seasoned vet in his early twenties heading off to classes with fresh-faced high school graduates in a post-Korea university setting.

The stories are hilarious, and quite enlightening.

I remember Dad saying that for college, once you step on campus you’re already three weeks behind.  In other words, it’s not high school, and it’s not supposed to be.  One night when I was struggling over my high school chemistry (so what else was new?), Dad tried to help.  I don’t remember anything he may have explained about co-valent bonds, but I do remember this comment:

“You have to be able to teach yourself from the text.”

Huh??  You mean I actually have to read the book for myself?  Isn’t that the teacher’s job?  Sheesh, the book is boring, technical, and there aren’t enough pretty pictures to hold one’s interest.  I’d rather just be spoon-fed by the instructor. 

If you’re a pastor (which, thankfully, I am not) this must sound familiar.

Lazy people take food in their hand
    but don’t even lift it to their mouth.

Just like I was suffering from a bad case of academic malaise, many of us Christians don’t bother to crack open the Source Material of our faith on a regular basis due to spiritual laziness.  Yes, we still need the Teacher in the form of the Holy Spirit—spiritual knowledge comes through spiritual means—but that does not preclude my discipline and intentional involvement.  Not by a long shot.

Besides, it’s not the pastor’s job to spoon feed me.

Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.

Say what?  You mean a lot (read: most) of this is on me?  Duh.

My husband is now officially “professor emeritus”.  During his career, he had specific office hours, but would also make himself available as needed if his students needed him for clarification of subject material.  He would even get a phone or two at home concerning an upcoming test. 

However, it was NOT his responsibility to learn the material; he already knew it.  And he could tell you, lazy students do generally do well.

Jesus offers Himself to us as “the bread of life.”

What are we going to do with it?

Proverbs 19:24; Ephesians 4:11,12  Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


About dawnlizjones

Tends toward TMI, so here's the short list: guitar and banjo (both of which have been much neglected as of late), bicycling (ibid), dogs, very black tea, and contemplating and commenting on deep philosophical thoughts about which I have had no academic or professional training. Oh, also reading, writing, but I shy away from arithmetic. View all posts by dawnlizjones

2 responses to “Spoon-fed

  • Daniel M. Klem

    Last night was the kickoff for our new youth group (my wife and I wanted to join the church, anyway, when we moved to the area, but it helps when they offer the position of youth pastor!), and I have already gotten “those questions” about the ministry. Namely, “How are you gonna get teens and pre-teens excited about the Bible?” and “What if it seems like only one or no youth seem the least interested?”
    I spent about 15 minutes going over policies and expectations for the ministry with parents and students (and volunteer leaders), and the final point is “Attendance: Make an effort to consistently attend.” My explanation is simple: You attend to learn more about God, the Bible, and how to live in a fallen world with an imperfect Church body. I will try to inspire you, but it rests on you. Take initiative, because you do not get into heaven because your parents believe, and the world does not change if you stay the same.

    I tell you all of this to basically say, Amen. The only exception I might take is that even professors and pastors are learning, we just tend to understand more than the rest! (From already having studied and experienced, naturally.)

    • dawnlizjones

      Awesome! Bob and I led youth group for years, and yes, we were VERY imperfect also. I love you comment on “how to live in a fallen world with an imperfect Church body.” That’s huge. God bless you in your work!!

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