It’s great to be back! “Back from what?” you ask. Back to school of course. I love to interact with the teachers, especially those that I’ve begun building relationships with. I also love to see the kids, who shot up like unwelcomed weeds, and to realize they just got one year smarter, as opposed to me who seems to have plateaued. And of course, I love the money. The more money, the more antique coins I can buy. (That’s just between you and I, my wife doesn’t have to know) So last Friday I showed up at Conestoga Elementary for my first assignment. I was all excited to see what God had in store for me this beautiful day. I was especially excited because I was teaching First Graders. They are so special because it’s their first dive into the world of knowledge, information and of course curiosity.
Within ten minutes of my entrance into their room one of the kids asked me about my watch. He looked at it with childlike wonder and awe. “Wow, Mr. Stoner. That is an amazing watch. How old is it? How rare is it?” At that point I was thinking about taking my watch for appraisal on the “Antique Road Show”. (I wondered, “Gee, what is this special time piece worth?”) But then it started to dawn on me. This child had probably never seen a watch with an hour hand and a minute’s hand which wasn’t in a museum. His parents probably had one of those fancy Amazon watches that do everything from telling you how many steps you took to the bathroom and how high your blood pressure is. And so, I did what any fair-minded sub would do, I ignored the boy.
WHAT OTHER AREAS IN OUR LIVES DO PEOPLE PERCEIVE ONE THING WHEN IT IS SOMETHING ELSE?
That incident had me thinking the rest of the day. What other areas in our lives do people perceive one thing when it is something else? How many people have looked at you and thought “Wow, what a wonderful Christian woman or man you must be” when you’ve been following the course of this world and have gone without an ounce of sincere devotion for many months. Paul made it very clear in Ephesians 4:20-24 when he said, “You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught about your former way of life to put off your old self which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires to be made new in the attitude of your minds and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”
You know, it’s one thing to fool a first grader into thinking you’re wearing the most expensive watch ever made; it’s quite another to fool a fellow believer (and perhaps yourself) that you’re on the path to holiness. Be honest, it is the deceitful desires of the heart that need to be taken off, and it is the new self, created to be like Christ that needs to be put-on. Take something off, put something on. Does it get any easier than that? Hold on. Let me ask my first grader!