Friday, August 1, 2014

Interdependence--by Linden Malki

My dad always said that he'd never met someone he couldn't learn something from. We were created to learn from each other. Babies are born knowing nothing, but preprogrammed with the potential for their own unique personalities and talents. I'm becoming more convinced that we are created with potentials beyond our own abilities to handle. For good, for evil, for abilities of many kinds, we dependent on God and each other to grow toward what we are created to be. What is critical is the character of our teachers! If we have the right people available and submit to their teaching, we can do amazing things. If we encounter the wrong people and we do not recognize their limitations, or that they are what C.S. Lewis called "bent", we can become trouble.

I spent last weekend visiting family and also being part of a group involved with old British cars, especially Hillmans. (I don't have one at the moment, but have had several and know quite a lot about the vintage cars of this type.) We were part of a major car show near Seattle, visited a car museum in Tacoma, and went cruising outside Seattle through small towns on country roads. One of the fun things about this group is that some of the folks know a whole lot about these cars and are willing to answer questions and give advice, and everyone is willing to learn. Of course, when you've got cars averaging 50 years old, even if most are restored and in excellent condition, stuff happens. And when it does, you'll find hoods open with several heads inside and/or underneath, with major discussions as to what and why and how to fix it. And so far, nothing has had to be towed home.

In Scripture, God uses people to teach people. Moses listened to God, asked Him questions, listened to Jethro, and taught the people and especially Joshua. David had a whole series of mentors in his lifetime; he made mistakes and did some bad things but he confessed, asked forgiveness, and learned. God spent a millenium or so teaching these people to teach, and to learn--and sent Jesus into a period of history that was notable for learning--but still not everybody listened. Paul was constantly teaching and mentoring. And there is an incident in Peter's life that demonstrates that God teaches, and uses people to teach others. Peter was on a rooftop and had a vision--that included the message that what God made was good. At the same time, a Roman centurion was reaching out to God, and was told to send for Peter. So when Peter went to Cornelius, Peter taught him about Jesus--and Peter learned that this message was not only for Jews. We are created to learn to recognize truth, to learn from and teach those God has sent to us.

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