“Back to School”
When we were kids, two days before school started, Grandpap (Mom’s father) would drive us to the little suburb of Castle Shannon, where we would catch a streetcar into downtown Pittsburgh. The little “five and ten” where we bought our back-to-school supplies also had racks and bins of cheap toys from which we could piock one – I got my first Duncan Yoyo top one year. Then the best part of the day – he’d take us to the big Isaly’s ice cream store (they had a wonderful butterscotch ripple called “maricopa”). By the time we got home, the “happy tiredness” had caught up with us; we were asleep before our heads hit the pillows.
“Back to school” has become a much bigger deal today. But for most kids, the first day of school is still filled with anticipation and “mild terror” and wondering what this new year will bring.
Followers of Jesus, those who are his “disciples” (learners), are actually “in school” all year – the school is called “daily life” and his lessons are life lessons. Like the original Twelve, we tend to be spiritual “slow learners” – we often have to repeat the same lesson before we really get it, and sometimes have to review it again later in life. But this faithful Teacher of ours doesn’t give up on us. So when life gets complicated, discouraging, downright terrible, it’s usually because he’s taking us “back to school.”
I don’t believe there’s only one “most important lesson to learn” – it depends on where you are in your life as a student of Jesus. But always, the goal of our learning is knowing him better, and becoming like him.