By Roger Kruse
As the back-to-school sales ads try to get our attention, I can almost hear the groans. “Back to school again… No! It can’t be; summer just started!” Like it or not, as the month of August moves in, the school buses will soon be rolling again. Despite the protests and complaints to the contrary, both teachers and students will feel a buzz of excitement as they prepare for their first day back.
People around the world put a premium on educating their children. By the time a student perseveres through pre-school, K-12, and the optional 4 years of college plus grad school, he or she should have an intellect full of information. Of course, there are good arguments concerning where the “real” education is found. Practical knowledge and hands-on experience are great teachers that the classroom is hard pressed to replicate. However, many teachers these days are utilizing an interactive learning approach which allows students to engage an inductive process that invites personal discovery.
One thing I have learned is that I need to keep learning. If you think you have arrived and know everything you need to learn, you are probably in danger of being a know-it-all or just a dinosaur. Learning is a lifelong pursuit that requires a teachable spirit. What is your attitude if someone tries to correct you or show you how to do something in a different way? Do you scoff and resist or do you welcome the opportunity to learn something new? We laugh about the saying that “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Actually, there is great gain in maintaining a teachable spirit. Proverbs 19:20 tells us to, “Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise.” Wisdom is much more than having knowledge. Real wisdom has to do with living a life that is approved by God which also enables us to become a blessing to others.
When Jesus called his disciples, He invited them to “come and see,” and to “follow him” in a shared life of learning and doing ministry together. Jesus’ followers called Him Rabbi or Teacher, and acknowledged that His words were the true source of eternal life. Jesus tells us to submit ourselves to His leadership and learn directly from Him. The result will bring rest and refreshment to our souls, and lighten the load we carry.
What lessons might Jesus want to teach us? How to forgive those who hurt us, how to be generous and share with others, how to trust God and push our fears away, how to overcome temptation and pursue the path of right living, and how to discover the path of abundant and eternal life. These are the essential issues of life that bring joy and peace to our souls as we learn from Jesus.
Ten years ago, I made a hard decision to devote myself to God’s work in India. Since then I have received valuable training that has wonderfully enriched my life and ministry. I have learned the power of using questions to build relationships that matter. I have been taught how to coach aspiring leaders to achieve personal goals while developing new leaders which actually multiplies their influence. I have embraced the power of storytelling to communicate life transformation and enduring truth. I have experienced the joy of watching God do amazing things through ordinary people loved and empowered by God.
As the kids go back to school, why not join them? Become an avid learner who grows, develops and touches a world in need of the unique gifts you have to share. All things are possible to the one who has faith.
Roger Kruse is not an intellectual giant. Nevertheless, he is a learner who tries to maintain a teachable spirit. As a result, God graciously imparts His knowledge and a wisdom that equips and enables others to know and love the Savior.