I missed about a week of high school at the start of my sophomore year, and missed the foundation of Algebra II. I stumbled along from that point forward. Generally an A-B student, I dropped to C-D and F in that class. The teacher, Mrs. S., offered time and again to meet with me to help me, but I’d have to come in on breaks and lunch to do it. I was simply “too busy” to do it. I appreciate her offers now more than ever, because I get it.
In the late 80’s I attended a Community College. I was taking several subjects I believed I knew like the back-of-my-hand. I mostly smarted off at the professor and glanced at the books. I was too busy to take it any more seriously than that. I flunked big time.
I went back to the Community College in the late 90‘s. My scores in math indicated I’d need parallel studies in Algebra in order to attend the College. With huge determination, I attended all the classes, studied diligently and never made less than 100% on any of the tests. If the previous years weren’t counted, I had a 4.0 average. I had done it, finally.
As I thought about these things this morning, I realized they also reflect my path in following Christ. In 2003, I really did ask God how I had gotten the way I was. He really did speak into my heart, “You failed to study”. Studying God‘s Word diligently, since then, has changed so much in my heart and life. It’s a battle to put it into play and get through it sometimes. Guaranteed that there’s flack everywhere I turn (including within myself) sometimes. But, there’s an anchor in it well beyond human comprehension. Is that the anchor Peter talks about in 2 Peter 1:10, where you’ll never stumble? Not be perfect, just never stumble.
So much more than Mrs. S., God was always there, I just had to quit being silly, distracted and too busy.
Along with my Bible, I use note paper (journal), exhaustive concordance, dictionary and markers/pencils/pens. Occasionally, I’ll use a commentary or Bible Dictionary. As I think about this, studying the Bible without those tools would be like gardening with perhaps just your hands. That’s okay sometimes, but for real gardening you’ve got to have useful and trustworthy tools; which make all the difference in the world in how hard you have to work and not just how much you can get done but the results.