Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Does Training Really Matter?

           Did you ever stop to ask the question: Does training really matter? Well today I caught myself doing what some might consider a rote task. One of those things I’ve done so often that it requires very little thought. No, I was not making a hamburger, driving to school, or speaking before a group of people.  You might think the driving comment is a stretch, but how many experienced drivers have ever found yourself going down the road headed for a new location but traveling in the direction of your work place or favorite store, I mean a really familiar route, and the car just seems turn on its own? You arrive at an unintended destination and ask yourself, “How did I get here?” (Be Honest! I cannot be the only person this has happened to.)

Today, I was folding laundry. Not a task that requires an extended amount of brain power I’ll grant you. But, as I picked up the towel it seemed to fold itself. First, I matched the ends lengthwise in half. Then, without a second thought I folded the towel into thirds. By now I’ll bet most people reading this are saying, yep that’s how you fold a towel. That is the way it was done in my mother’s home. It is also the way it was done in my mother-in-laws home, but when Michele and I got married we lived in an apartment and she had some decorating sense that the towels had to hang across the towel rack lengthwise in thirds. One evening we were having guests, and she asked me to change the towels in the bathroom before they arrived. Which I dutifully with one small imperfection, I took the towels straight from the linen cabinet and hung them over the towel rack just the way they were folded. Oops!

Once Michele finished whatever the task was that required her attention, she checked the bathroom and I got a lesson in elegant towel hanging. The towels had to be unfolded and refolded and hung across the towel rack lengthwise in thirds. I never forgot that lesson, but I did develop a more efficient way to fold towels. First, fold them lengthwise in thirds. Then, fold them in half and half again. When they are folded and put away like that you just take them out of the linen closet let the second half fold fall freely and place the towel on the towel rack. That way no one gets in trouble. Today, after 15 years of my own towel folding practice, I folded the towel the wrong way. Where did that come from?

Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (KJV)

            Parents spend so much of their time teaching children so many things. They teach their children how to walk, talk, ride bikes, drive cars, hopefully they teach every life skill. But, how much time is spent actively training the next generation to hear God’s voice?

Isaiah 30:20-22 “And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers: And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left. Ye shall defile also the covering of thy graven images of silver, and the ornament of thy molten images of gold: thou shalt cast them away as a menstruous cloth; thou shalt say unto it, Get thee hence.” (KJV)

            The world will offer your children many teachers. Not all of them will be pointing out the path of righteousness. As a public school teacher, I was surprised, or should I say shocked every year to see the sheer numbers of students that were spiritually illiterate. Many of them came from “Christian homes” and  “Good churches” but lacked a solid foundation in the TRUTH.

Psalm 34:10-12 “The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing. Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD. What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good?” (KJV)

            A Pastor once told me (when I was a child), “Christians are not called to judge each other, but we do have a responsibility to become fruit inspectors.” As responsible leaders in our homes and within the “Body of Christ” we owe it to the next generation to train them in the art of hearing God’s voice, discerning the correct path, and accurately testing the quality of spiritual fruit.

Matthew 7:20-26 “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:” (KJV)

            Training really does matter. Let’s be sure our children know what is important. The world will not like you and it surely will not understand your position without the intervention of the Holy Spirit but we can become like Jesus the Master Teacher.

Matthew 10:25 “It is enough for students to be like their teachers, and servants like their masters. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebul, how much more the members of his household!” (NIV)

1 comment:

  1. I often wonder if multi-tasking is a bad thing. If I can do some of these seeming rote tasks while completing another task requiring some brain power - am I being more efficient?

    So what do other think? If a person is mindlessly folding clothes, doing dishes, making beds, or even taking a walk is it okay to say - use that as your quiet time with the Lord? I wonder if God feels slighted when we spend our prayer time being productive?

    I guess it depends on whether or not the conversation with God is one of the many continuous conversations one has throughout the day or is being done as an item on a check list to be completed.