A Father’s Lesson
I’m sure it comes as no surprise to you that some of my most important lessons in life never involved a classroom. Sure, I’m ever indebted to my grade school and college teachers, but when it comes to instruction, it’s frequently the hands-on stuff that sticks. Book knowledge is one thing. Practical application is another.
Thomas Edison realized this, and operated on four simple principles:
- Never get discouraged if you fail. Learn from it. Keep trying.
- Learn with both your head and hands.
- Not everything of value in life comes from books – experience the world.
- Never stop learning. Read the entire panorama of literature.
So while the great inventor valued books, he recognized the essential teaching power of experience. He’s the one who said “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.” In other words, roll up your sleeves, put your nose to the grindstone, and start learning.
I would never know how to play tennis if it hadn’t been for my Dad. And that certainly didn’t come by sitting in a room and listening to him describe how to hit a ball. It came by being with him for hours on the tennis court. Listening, and watching, and swinging my shiny aluminum Yonex racquet against Dad’s wooden Pancho Gonzalez special. He didn’t just tell me, he didn’t just show me, he involved me in learning.
And that’s just what Jesus does with his disciples. He’s a hands-on Savior who realizes that this unschooled group of twelve tradesmen needs to experience the job of spreading his Good News, rather than just sitting and listening. Like a good parent, he provides them with what they need and sends them out to take a swing at sharing his love.
This Father’s Day, we’ll talk about the hands-on Father we all share, and the way he equips us to take the court and serve in his ministry.
Your brother in Christ,