by Michele McCarthy @MicheleRMcC
A wise man will hear and increase in learning, and a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel. Proverbs 1:5 NASB
Piles of notebooks, paper, crayons, pens and backpacks line the shelves that greet incoming store customers right now. Back to school talk rings in the air. “I hope I have Ms. Smith this year,” or, “I can’t believe summer is almost over,” or “Whose class are you in?”
New school supplies feel like promises yet to be fulfilled. Empty notebooks await new ideas and crisp, unread books beckon. Office supply stores and bookstores smell of organization and potential. A glimpse down the aisles, messy from the crowds of buyers, unleashes memories of beginning many new school years myself.
Some dread heading back to classrooms and harbor only bad memories of school. Some fail to strike a balance between work hours and school, squeaking by on overload. Others muddle through the school day only to get to the pep rallies and social functions. Some anticipate the year with joy, excited to learn and grow.
People attending church can have varied motives as well. Some slip through the doors then back out again, subconsciously fulfilling an “obligation” to check the box. Some listen to fill their storehouse with knowledge. Others are excited to worship and anticipate revelation from the Holy Spirit they can put into practice.
These variations in response to hearing the Word of God remind me of Jesus’ parable of the sower. The Good News seed was sown, but some seeds were snatched away before ever germinating. Other seeds sprang up quickly, but in the shallow, rocky soil, they were unable to grow roots and withered. Still some seed fell among the thorny weeds, and as they grew, the worries of the world choked out the plants. Finally, some seed fell on good soil. The Word was heard and nourished and produced a crop-thirty, sixty or one hundred times what was sown (Matthew 13:1-23).
Last fall, I enrolled in school to learn more about living out my Christian faith. I didn’t want what I knew to be stored away, never to be applied. I might be a life-long Christian now with grandchildren, but there is always room to go deeper.
And go deeper I did—I found a more profound identity in Christ. I learned to love like Jesus does and to step out like the believers in Acts. I was given a way to read Scripture that assures His word is spoken both into my mind and heart.
I will forever be learning. Yet the more I learn about Jesus, the more I realize I don’t know.
God wants us to seek Him with excitement. His mercies are new every morning. His plans are fresh each day. Bad memories and dread will never describe our time with the God who looks at us with love in His eyes.
He longs for you to look up and see His smile. Be His student, for in His presence is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11). “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). He will fill your empty notebook and tutor you in the truth. It will be worth the effort.
About the author: Michele McCarthy is married and a mom to two sons and Gigi to five adorable grandchildren. She is a Texas Christian University graduate with a degree in Education. She attended Lifestyle Christianity University in Watauga, Texas. Michele is a co-founder of LWT (Living Write Texas), a Christian writing group for women. She loves, reading, painting, all things witty, and hot fudge sundaes.
Michele’s book Daddy and Me, is the story of the unconditional love of the Father. It is a reminder of how important and influential our words are to children. In Daddy and Me, daddy’s form is left to the imagination. Every child is free to picture their own daddy and most importantly their heavenly Father. The Father who loves them perfectly, without reserve no matter what, while gently holding each child in His hand.
Join the conversation: What has God taught you about Himself lately?