One of the innate characteristics that we share as human beings is the need to be taught about all matters of life. I’m living in that amazing season of life where I am now watching my children teach their children the essentials of life. (Just a couple days ago, my not-quite 2 yr. old grandson learned that you do not pull on the cat’s tail…!)
Watching toddlers learn how to communicate, discover their fragile physical limitations for now, and how to make grown-ups laugh is an amazing transformation.
The thing about learning is that it continues throughout all of life. Even in our later years, we want to learn how to care for others as well as ourselves, how to grow closer to the God who loves us and has purpose for us, and just what really matters for eternity.
One thing that I’m finding virtually undebatable is that the secular outlets of wisdom seem to be exceedingly shrill and out of touch with what really matters to the human heart. In just about every medium of communication we learn how to find fault, criticize or marginalize others while making ourselves more successful, acquiring more, looking younger and at times getting even with those that may have hurt you. In truth, there are major parts of most days when I simply have to unplug from what is flooding our airwaves and clogging our almost unfathomable resources of technology.
The psalmist wisely said in his very first words (Psalm 1:1 NIV) “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.”
I find it quite fascinating that the first thing that we are taught to do from a scriptural perspective is what we should separate ourselves from in order to find blessing. The fact of the matter is that if we do nothing and simply go with the flow of the world around us, we end up in destruction. That’s the drift of the world. That’s the way ungodly counsel will always take us.
The psalmist goes on to say “But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yield it’s fruit in season, and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.” (Psalm 1:2-3) For it is possible for our lives to flourish. Those who delight in the way and the laws of the Lord are positioning themselves to experience the presence and power of God on a day-to-day basis, not just one day in the sweet by and by.
To parents who might be part of this community, you have the incredible privilege and responsibility to help your child discover the wisdom of the Lord at an early age. In fact, I’ve often encouraged friends that the sooner they help their children to understand how God works in their lives, the more likely it is that they will discover the beauty and fullness of His plan for them.
On the other end of the spectrum, however, those of us who have lived a relatively full life can continue to grow in the wisdom and understanding of God through a myriad of experiences.
For example, on a weekly basis Carol and I experience a home group that chooses to openly share our understandings and experiences in relationship to the Word of God in a supportive and sometimes challenging environment. I have no doubt that we are both continuing to grow in not just our understanding, but in our experience of knowing Christ as a result of the fellowship of our group.
I wonder if those of us who have been blessed with a healthy and multi-faceted church ministry recognize just how much of a gift that is not just for our lives, but hopefully, for the lives of others with whom we come in contact. I wonder if we might tend to be far more proactive in sharing these opportunities with people if we recognized the value of them from God’s perspective and just how rare such communities really are, even in a culture as rich and diverse as our own. If you are convinced, as I am, that Jesus is the best and only one from whom human beings should learn how to live, then it makes perfect sense to share that wonderful discovery with everyone who will listen. It’s through Him, and His word, that we learn how to live a life of fulfillment and purpose, a life that doesn’t disappoint.