Getting Taught

My first year of college I was a double major in history and math, with a secondary education emphasis. I wanted to teach. In my high school years I was heavily influenced by math teachers and an English teacher. I fell in love with history thanks to my dad and AP History class. Even at 18 I saw how impactful teachers could be on the life of a bratty teen like myself and felt I owed them more than just an A in class, but to turn and give back myself.

On Tuesday of Holy Week, the Great Teacher went in the temple to teach. Christ, during His time here on earth, often taught through the lens of parables, illustrating an idea through story in order to bring about revelation on the hearts of those who hear. He took the harder lessons to be learned and brought them to the people who most needed to hear them.

But here we sit looking at Mark 11-13, and the hard words of Christ teaching and the Pharisees interrupting, to try to trap Him or ensnare Him. They bring lofty legalistic views, with religion carried on their shoulders rather than trusting in Christ, the God-man Himself right before them, teaching and preaching, pointing to the time of redemption.

They doubt His authority, seeking to be their own authority. I have to say, we all are alike in that vein. We prefer to use ourselves more often to rule than allowing Christ to rule in and through us. As one writer states, “We are not really interested in surrendering that rule to anyone else.” We see further on that they fear others more than they fear God, when they make decisions based upon the crowd’s opinion instead of the words of Christ before them. They chose the safe route, the expedient one rather than what was true, right.

Sounds a bit like me some days, alot of days. Choosing for myself based upon the opinion of others often instead of what Christ commands of me. When I look at this text I cannot help but ask myself, “Does what others will think of me hinder me from moving more towards Jesus?” Do the lessons He teaches me alter me in a way that moves me more towards His likeness or more towards the crowd’s opinion?

In many ways I am just as they were, questioning whether this Teacher has authority and influence in my life, whether I would allow the opinions of others to bare weight over His command. So on this Tuesday as I sit and look at the Teacher and His teachings that day thousands of years ago, I have to seek to know how much of all this is a reason to mask my own fear of what faith might cost me socially, relationally, and culturally. Whether I will be taught or continue to think I am the teacher.

Tomorrow, Tomorrow…You’re Only A Day Away!

Can I tell y’all how excited I am to have 2013 over? That today is the very last day of this year and I could not be more excited to ring in 2014?

Because I really am!

You might be asking why… Things are going to get interesting in 2014. They are going to get uncomfortable. They are going to be shook up, spilled out, and dug in deep.

Photo property of Sara Stacy. Do not use or copy.
Photo property of Sara Stacy. Do not use or copy.

This morning I woke up and grabbed the last sunrise of 2013 (pictured above) and I breathed in the new mercies of today, knowing that a new day brings new blessings and new opportunities for grace and hope. That even though this is the final day of a very long year, it is also the start of something new. A new work in me, and hopefully a new work in you.

I pray you take time to revel in this year that we are bidding farewell to today, not for longing for days gone but for the lessons it taught you. If you did not learn something from your year, I pray you find the opportunities to do so in the coming one.

Here’s to hustling in 2014!