This morning we stayed home from church. We needed a morning of going nowhere, wearing pajamas, sipping hot cocoa, making pancakes, snuggling together. We needed a morning to just be together as a family. And so we stayed home from church.
And we did something we haven’t done in a long time — my husband pulled out his guitar and the old notebook full of praise choruses and we sang together. We were off-key and had trouble remembering the tunes to some of the songs, but it was a good time. It was a total flashback to our college days and the early years of our marriage when we hung out with college Young Life leaders. And it was cool to teach the kids “Sweet Adoration” and “Oh, Heavenly Father” and “My All in All.”
After we finished singing, I asked the children to share what they are learning in Bible class at school or at church. Some of them thought I wanted a laundry list of facts, so they offered a list of detailed information they have learned. You know, cerebral stuff — what they call, “head knowledge.” I heard a chronology of King David’s life and a list of battles the Israelites fought before they entered The Promised Land. But, of course, that’s not what I meant.
However, it made me think. Do I do that? Instead of learning the nuggets of truth about God’s character, instead of seeing myself in the story and thinking about how God might want to change me, I learn a list of facts, a bunch of names, a chronology of events. I approach the Bible the way I approached history class. I memorize details as if God’s going to give me a final exam, grading me on how well I can recite back the names and dates and events.
Pretty silly, huh? But it’s easier sometimes to have all this knowledge of the Bible than it is to allow the Living Word to transform me. It’s easy to think I’m super-spiritual, a Wonder-Christian-Woman because I am good at sword drills or Bible trivia.
But that’s not the point, is it? There isn’t going to be a massive Old and New Testament Survey final exam at the end of life. God’s not going to be hosting a giant Bible Quiz Bowl game at the Pearly Gates, and He won’t be giving out crowns with lots of bling-bling or mega-sized mansions to the winners, a` la some divine game show host.
No, the point is not the amount of information I’m storing up in my head.
Is my mind being renewed by the information I’m learning? Am I being transformed? Am I doing the Word instead of merely hearing it? That’s the point. Right?
Finally, this morning, one child said he has been learning about Noah and that when God asked Noah to start building the ark, it didn’t make sense. And he said, “So I’m learning that we should obey God and do what He asks us to do, even if it doesn’t make any sense to us.”
Yes! That’s the sort of answer I was looking for. And that’s the sort of thing my Heavenly Father is hoping for me — that I’m learning to apply His Word instead of merely memorizing facts.
I’m glad we stayed home this morning. I loved staying in pajamas, snuggling, eating pancakes, singing old praise songs, and talking about God with my kids. And I love when He uses them to teach me or remind me of what I need to learn — and He does that a lot.
How about you? What are you learning?