Last fall I had a tree cut down in my backyard. I had a company lay it down in my yard. Then, called on my outdoor wood burning furnace friends and said, “Come and get it!” I had 2 seasoned gentlemen come a few days and work on splitting and chopping wood. I have only chopped/split wood twice before and even then I was grabbing what was already split and stacking it where they needed it. Needless to say, I have very little experience in the wood chopping business. Anyway, these 2 men were amazing in my book. You could tell this was not their first rodeo! They had worked together many years for long hours providing wood for their families and others in need. They were a well oiled machine!
Not gonna lie, I got excited when they pulled up. I wanted to know what they knew and learn how this is done. At first I think I just got in the way, but they were kind and humored me and directed where I needed to go and what needed to be done. As time passed, I took a step back and watched. How did they choose their next piece of wood? How did they set it up to be split? What size did they want it to be? What size didn’t need to be split and go straight to the pile? What direction did the grain need to be in order to be split? How did they split chunks that were too big? Call me crazy, but I found it fascinating. I finally jumped back in and did my best to follow their lead and learn from their wisdom and experience. I wanted to soak in what they knew and how they did it. I learned a lot by listening, observing, and being present. They really didn’t say a whole lot. They pointed me in the right direction a few times, but for the most part, it was listening, observing and being in the moment.
Now, you ask me to go fishing and I’ll have to pass. Or take a book with me. I have no desire to go or learn about fishing or cleaning fish. My boys love it. I have many friends that love it. It’s just not my thing. I don’t have a passion to learn more about it, to spend time doing it. You start talking about how many fishing poles you have, what kind of bait you like or your favorite fishing spots and I may resort to nodding my head and add in an “Uh-huh, nice, really” every now and then. No disrespect, just not interested.
One of my “serious books” that I’m reading is “The Divine Conspiracy” by Dallas Willard. It’s very enlightening. It’s taking me a while to read because there is some much to think and process about and he packs a punch. Anyway, the chapter I recently finished was on being a disciple, a student, of Jesus.
Ok. If I just lost you I’m blowing my whistle and yelling, “Come back! Come back!” (from the movie Titanic if you didn’t catch that. Anyway….) Sit tight for a minute and keep reading. I’m certain it will be worth it!
So back to being a student of Jesus. Did you catch that, you are to be a student of Jesus not for Jesus. By declaring that you are a Christian, you have committed to being a student of Jesus. How’s that going for you? What does that look like to you? How are you different now than you were before? How long have you been a Christian? How well have you grown in your spiritual walk with Christ? Okay, I’m done hammering.
What I found fascinating, once again, and wanting to lean in and learn more was the simplicity of being a student of Christ.
We are learning new things all the time. Information is at the tips of our fingers. In order to get promotions and certifications, studying has to occur. Time and effort is being given. Your desire and focus in centered on learning and soaking in as much as you can about what you want most. So, what is it that you want most? A family, promotion, new job, a boat, white picket fence? Where are your priorities. These are all just things that are temporary. What if, by some crazy idea, that you focus on who you are, who you belong to, who you want to be, what is your inner soul focused on?
As mentioned before, when I grow up, I want to be like Jesus. Well, how do I do that? I go to church every Sunday. We meet for small group once a week. If someone is in need we reach out as a group and help provide for the need. I do my best to be kind to others, control my tongue and think before I speak. But is that enough? What kind of student of Christ am I being? We all have room to improve. We all have something new to learn. There is always room to grow. I don’t think I’ve ever met someone who said, “Well, that’s it. I’ve learned all I can learn. There is nothing else to learn.” If you’ve met someone like that, then, they are wrong!
Similar to my fascination with chopping wood, I have an even deeper fascination with Christ. I want to observe, take a step back and watch and learn, listen to His wisdom, follow His lead, be present. I want to set aside my preconceived assumptions of what the world says a Christian should look like and look to Jesus for Him to tell me what one of His students looks like.
The Gospels are a good place to start. More specifically the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7 is a good place to start. But don’t stop there. Just keep reading, learning, observing, listening and being with Christ.
Get to know Jesus by getting to know His Word. Don’t let the verbiage or wording intimidate you. Ask a trusted believer brother or sister in Christ about different versions and seek one out the you can understand. Even if you don’t understand, the Holy Spirit will intervene and make the meaning clear to you. How do you go about learning something new? Go about learning about Jesus in the same way. It’s not rocket science. He will guide you and give you the knowledge and understanding you need. You just need the desire and fascination with Christ to be a student of Christ. He will do the rest.
Others are watching you, taking their cue from you. What kind of cue are you giving them? Being a student of Christ is a life long journey. During your journey you have the opportunity to help others see and know Christ too. By your living example, you are encouraging others to become a student of Christ too! How awesome is that!!