It's funny what things stick with us when it comes to our memories. What causes us to remember certain details years after they happen but have absolutely no memory of others? I find it fascinating how multiple people can be doing the same activity together but the particulars of what each of them remember are totally different.
Over the years, I have taught a variety of groups of students, and to this day there are certain comments students have made that feel like they are cemented in my memory. Now you might think these would be the most profound and revolutionary kinds of comments, but honestly many of them were spoken more off the cuff than articulated within some kind of speech or the answering of a deep question.
I remember one day I was trying to begin a class of middle school general music, and one particular boy was goofing off in some kind of way. I can't honestly remember now any details about what he was doing, but I think I had already asked him to sit down - or had maybe given that as a general request - since class was supposed be starting. The part I do remember is that as he was prancing around doing whatever he was doing, he said in a rather dramatic way, "What would Jesus do?" Without missing a beat, a girl who was sitting nearby said matter-of-factly, "Jesus would sit down."
As much as this story never ceases to make me chuckle, it also makes me wonder if there is a deeper truth to consider here. I wonder if there are circumstances when we are a little bit like that middle school boy, asking ourselves the question "What would Jesus do?", thinking there is some kind of big attention-getting thing Jesus would have us do, when all He really wants from us is for us to take our seat.
Think about the story of Peter walking on the water. Recently after studying this passage, my husband shared with me a very interesting insight I had never noticed before. Did you know Jesus never actually told Peter to walk on the water? Peter was the one who said, "Lord if it's You, tell me to come to You on the water." A wild thing I had never considered before is that quite possibly all Jesus needed Peter to do was to sit down. Peter was the one who thought he needed to do some kind of crazy thing to test his own faith.
I know the question "What would Jesus do?" has been around for a while and has been used in a lot of different ways. Like any Christian slogan, though, it's not the slogan itself that has terribly much power but rather the heart and motivation behind it. Why am I asking, "What would Jesus do?" Am I willing to do what He would do, even if it seems kind of... boring?
What if the brave thing to do is sometimes the boring thing?
Imagine you had a conversation with Jesus and you asked Him, What should I do to help spread Your kingdom? Should I become a preacher so I can speak about You to lots of people who have never heard of You? Or what if I write a book about Your love and try to sell millions of copies? You look at Jesus and expect Him to show you the way to do something big, to really make a difference in the world. But then imagine if Jesus' first words back to you were simply, My child, have a seat.
It's not that I think Jesus doesn't want us to dream big. We have a huge God, and His Word says He can do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine. The Bible also urges us to ask, seek and knock. We can pray for God to do big things and He promises to answer! But sometimes, I wonder if it's just as hard (if not harder) for us to accept His answers when they're just not terribly exciting.
I remember hearing about a mom who prayed that her children would have "boring testimonies". Seems like kind of a strange thing to pray for, doesn't it? Maybe so, until one of her kids tells his/her story - thinking it seems boring - and another person hears that same story and recognizes God's hand in it. God doesn't necessarily need a big, dramatic bold story in order to reveal His love or His truth or whatever it is He wants someone to see.
Just like our memories, what sticks out to one person is not necessarily the same thing that will stick out to another person. God works through it all and is continually writing an amazing story, even if at times it feels boring to us. As we pray, may we trust Him to lead us, both when it's time to stand up and when it's time to sit down.
Pray with me...
Father, help us follow You, no matter how exciting or boring the next steps You have for us may be
Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21
Jesus, help us teach our students well what it means to follow You, day after day
Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:9
Holy Spirit, You alone know what will stick in each person's memory. Please use the ACSD community to speak to many people about who You are.
But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. John 14:26
Thanks for taking the time to read this blog and pray for Alliance Christian School District! Lord willing, I plan to publish a new blog post weekly on Wednesdays throughout the school year. Feel free to subscribe (at the bottom of this page) if you'd like to be notified each time a new blog post has been published. We also have a prayer team that is always open for new pray-ers to join. If you'd like to learn more, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
~ Carrie Warner, ACSD Prayer Team Coordinator
Soli Deo Gloria To God alone be the glory