By Debra Whittington
Apply thine heart unto instruction, and thine ears to the words of knowledge.
Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day. Psalm 25:3-5
Life is one big classroom. There is so much to learn that even with a lifetime we can’t learn it all. However, all of this knowledge won’t do us any good if we don’t apply it. I am amazed at how much I know about subjects that don’t matter much unless, of course, I was on a TV game show like “Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?”
On the show, people are asked questions that grade school children would learn. While I know many of the answers, there are several subjects that I obviously didn’t pay attention to in school. This is evident by all the contestants who, at this time, have not won a million dollars.
I love opportunities to learn about things that I can apply to my life to help others and myself.
Mark and I just returned from a weeklong conference in Glorieta that ranged from Bible Study to practical things we can do to help others in our church.
Our facilitators, Steve and Diana Davis were from Indiana. They have many years in the ministry and many experiences which they are eager to share.
Beginning with the very first session, we received handouts to go along with what was being taught at the time. The handouts will serve as a reminder and refresher course so we can share with others.
I received even more information from Diana’s book, “Fresh Ideas: 1,000 Ways To Grow A Thriving And Energetic Church.” While I have only started reading it, I have already found several ideas I want to share with the women of the church.
And now that we are home, I am faced with filing all of these handouts. I have many handouts from other conferences as well and as good as they are, they aren’t much use in a file cabinet.
It is the same with all the knowledge that we gain. Sometimes, we file away our information and never access it again. We are excited about it, at the time, and are inspired, but we just don’t do anything else about it. Maybe, it is like some of the things we learned in elementary school.
I have other information in my files that Mark and I have used over the years to teach to others. Much of this information came from marriage retreats we attended over the years. We use it to teach a class to help other married couples who are unable to attend these conferences.
Whether we are the student or the teacher, all of this knowledge won’t be of much value unless we apply it to our lives. I know that the things we learned at other conferences and then actually applied to our everyday lives made a world of difference to us. Principles we learned years ago are still things we do on a daily basis.
Finally, we need to remember the reason we are in this classroom of life. Are we here to serve the Lord and help others or are we here to serve ourselves?