He Who Walks with Wise Men

  • Friday, March 4, 2011
  • “He who walks with wise men will be wise…” Proverbs 13:20

    But growing old does not necessarily make one wise.

    “That is not appropriate behavior!” How many times have I heard the Nana make that statement to our grandchildren? Her mission? Teach them what is and what is not proper etiquette and appropriate behavior in each given situation. And then they went to the pediatric dentist where, if you are a “good patient”, you get to select a gift from a variety of options. And Meredith chose…

    The greatest lessons on appropriate behavior are better “caught than taught”. “A blind man cannot lead a blind man, can he? Will they not both fall into a pit? A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher.” Luke 6:39-40

    Some of my fondest memories of youth ministry years have to do with my sponsor team. Of course, we were radically committed to the spiritual health and maturing of high school students. But we also had an incredible partnership with a “blue chip class” of sponsors. In fact, one pastor’s assessment of our youth ministry was, “You just have a bunch of adults who love being together and don’t mind if some young people hang around with them!” That was a pretty accurate assessment.

    But managing students on major excursions was not the greatest challenge. Staying ahead of and on top of the sponsors…now THAT was a challenge! One still bears the scars of Linda’s late-night assessment when, observing him attempting to round up his cabin of campers with his hi-tech flashlight, she declared him to be, the “Cosmic Killjoy”. On another occasion, it was a youth sponsor and not a student whose ski-lift ticket had to be pulled for rowdy behavior at the hotel. Still another scared the wits out of us by jumping off the diving cliffs and breaking her back…which led to a memorable race over pasture roads and broken hi-ways lying back in the seat of a Toyota Corolla…then into the Corolla for a painful drive to a Wyoming airfield where we languished under the blazing sun as we studied the sky for the arrival of her husband and the ambulance plane which would airlift her home to St. Elizabeth’s. On other excursions, two tablets of Tylenol PM were distributed to the sponsors because the kids tended to keep them awake later than their beauty sleep required. As I said, the management of students was not a significant challenge. But keeping the sponsors in line with “appropriate behavior”…now THAT was often Mission Impossible! After all, with MY sponsor team, what COULD the students come up with that would top THEIR antics? “A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher.” Luke 6:39-40

    Growing old does not necessarily make one wise

    In our mission of equipping the next generation for radical Christian influence, our methods rely strongly on the role modeling of seasoned saints. But they must be characterized by “appropriate behavior”.

    When Meredith made her dental appointment gift selection, it brought to mind another great memory. You know why the “Cosmic Killjoy” was roaming the campus in the middle of the night with his flashlight? A female sponsor (who shall remain nameless, but here’s a hint…her husband is a legendary 30-year member of the Husker football coaching staff with numerous Conference Championships as well as more than one National Championship ring). This sponsor had brought with her an amazing selection of entertainment resources for her girls’ dorm. One was a “whoopie-cushion” which her girls had activated under the cover of darkness just outside the open window of the guys’ dorm.

    Yesterday, Meredith’s selection from the basket of choices was a “whoopie-cushion”. And during the remainder of the evening you could frequently hear, “That is not appropriate behavior!”

    Ahhh…now that my youth group is grown and has teenage children, just imagine the sponsor antics we might experience on Faith Bible Church ministry trips!

    “…but every pupil when he is fully taught will be like his teacher.” Now, is THAT appropriate behavior?

    Growing old does not necessarily make one wise.

    See you Sunday, Church!
    Pastor Tom


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