Sometimes being a teacher makes me sad. Being a high school Bible teacher, I inherit 143 young minds/hearts everyday coming from a myriad of theological backgrounds and upbringings. Its like seeing a cross-section of midwest evangelicalism: the good, the bad and the ugly. What makes me sad though is that by the ages of 16, 17 and 18, they have lost the awe and the mystery of the Script. Only some of them are rebellious, angry or indifferent. Some have a faith that has the depth of the Christian industry/sub-culture that is sold to them (i.e. attend the most exciting youth group, listen to only christian music and read Left Behind novels = their trinitarian theology). Some are bruised, beaten and defeated by painful home lives and having been caught in the crossfire of so many adult battles, they are brought here for the Christian school to hopefully make them right. The last category are the intuitive ones. They are searching after the real truth and won't accept a counterfeit. They ask a lot of questions, engage in discussions and seek to learn vs. getting a good grade. They seem to realize that parts of Christendom are nothing more than hype, marketing and systems of religiosity, while other streams of Christendom lead them to the truth they are desperately seeking.
What makes me sad is that we adults tend to systematize the mystery. We are always trying to get them to memorize the conclusions and don't let them feel engaged in the mystery of God. Our approaches to control them are all left brained and linear, while Jesus tended to teach in parables to engage the right side of the brain. We are teaching their minds, but we haven't captured their hearts. And then they graduate and are propelled into a world of other kingdoms to try because they never had a chance to taste the real Kingdom.
And so I find myself in a place of influence. In a week, I am leading chapel. How will I capture their hearts with the mystery of God? I have been chosen to give the commencement address at graduation this year. How will I send them out in the power of the real Kingdom? I have each day to teach. How can I be one who proclaims the mystery of the Truth and incarnate it in a real person? This is one of my present callings.
On a side note, I am praying over an invitation I received yesterday to teach at a seminary in India this summer. It would be for 2-3 weeks and I'm not sure I can be away from my family that long . . . but I sure would like to travel India :)
Stop and notice the Kingdom amongst you today,