Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matt. 28:18-20 (NIV)
I hated to back-seat drive but I did it anyway, “Bob, you are pulling in too close to her!” Bob slowed the car to a stop, just inches from the vehicle in front of us. My eyes rolled and wondered if the woman in front of us would judge us nuts for not leaving her room to move her car when she finished putting air in her tires.
We needed air in a tire as well. That’s why we stopped after church a few Sunday’s ago. Although I was in a hurry to get home and hopefully indulge in some Sunday rest time, Bob thought now was better than later to accomplish this small chore. He was probably right.
However, I quickly considered changing my vote of affirmation when the woman ahead of us turn and walked toward my side of the car, complete with air hose in her raised right hand. “Oh no! She is going to psssst me with the air hose!” was my first thought! I knew we’d parked too close to her!
Fortunately, an internal sense of decorum returned and directed me to open the window to see what it was she needed. I am so glad I did. She had such a lovely spirit about her. With the most beautiful smile, she inquired about where on her vehicle she could locate the correct pressure for her tires. I smiled, clueless, and instantly directed her to my fearless leader, who knows everything about everything.
Bob got out of our car to assist her as I muttered something about not knowing a thing about tire pressure. After all, that is what my husband is for! That’s when it happened. She turned and said in a coaxing voice, “Come on! Let’s learn something today together!”
“I like that! You’re right, let’s learn something today!” The words rolled out in astonishment from my mouth as I jumped out of the passenger seat. It was like one of those epiphany moments. After all, I never thought of an opportunity to help as an opportunity to learn – especially when the learning invitation came from the one you were trying to help! Well, you didn’t have to ask me twice.
I watched and learned how to work the mechanic pump. I learned to look on the tire or the inside sticker of the door to locate the right pressure for my tires. Bob even let me try out my new-found knowledge on one of our tires! The one we tried to help – helped us! I left the Shell station feeling empowered. A feeling, I would not have had, without such an intriguing invitation.
Jesus told us to go into the world to teach, preach and make disciples. I thought I was doing okay on that command, after all, I am a Bible study teacher. (Note: It’s really the Holy Spirit who teaches, I just hope to let Him use my mouth on occasion.) Yet, I wonder if we’ve forgotten that perhaps parting of teaching others while reaching others means learning from them as well.
I’ve always said that a teacher always learns more that the student, generally because of the preparation required in presenting a lesson. Then we also learn from class participation – from the thoughts and examples of others. But here I was in the middle of a ministry opportunity – never expecting a challenge to learn myself in this setting. It was, indeed, a refreshing moment.
I am not certain how the Holy Spirit will use this ministry moment in your life, but I felt compelled to share it with you! All I ask is that you ponder this in light of some of the opportunities that could cross your path during the week:
• When your child asks you how to something you are not familiar with….
• When your teenager isn’t sure how to check the oil in the car….
• When your friend has a question about Scripture that stumps you….
• As God sweetly calls you into a personal quite time with Him each day….
Then perhaps you can respond, “Come, let’s learn something together today!”
May we each follow the command to teach, while taking time to learn as well!