I was recently running some training for some 13 and 14 year old leaders. They are involved in our children’s ministry on a Sunday morning but it was felt they needed a little extra guidance in how to deal with our preschool children.
We were all gathering together before the training started and I got the feeling the teenagers weren’t all that interested in doing the training. We started chatting and they began making excuses for why they should be somewhere else.
One of the 14 year olds looked at me and said arrogantly, “I’ve been doing this for three years already, I don’t know what more I could learn!”
When my mind finally stopped reeling, I sweetly smiled down at her and said, “Sweetheart, I’ve been doing this for 38 years and there’s still a lot I can learn.”
Her comment shocked me for two reasons:
1. That she would speak so rudely to someone older than her that she hardly knew
2. That, at the ripe old age of 14, she thought she had learned everything there was to know.
I guess I may have been the same when I was her age but now I’m in my late 30s I realise how little I did know back then.
But, if I’m to be truly honest, there are times when I have the same attitude as this 14 year old leader. I look down on others when in actual fact they have a different set of skills that I could learn from.
I often respond to God in a similar way too. When I question God’s actions or words it often comes from a place that I actually know better. I wonder if God is as shocked and baffled at my attitude as I was with this 14 year old?
When you compare our knowledge to the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-powerful Lord, it must be laughable. And yet, when we spout our understandings, God is humble and patient enough to give us voice.
This interaction has reminded me of how much I still have to learn from God and from the people around me.
Without knowing it, even this 14 year old has taught me not to be so self assured when it comes to thinking I know everything.
Who can you learn from today?
This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.