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I have a student who has consistently come to class five to ten minutes late. So I asked her what class she had just before mine.  I figured it was in a building at the far end of the campus and thus a significant walk.  I was underwhelmed when she told me she did not have a class before mine.   So I made her a deal.  If for the rest of the semester she is on time, I will ignore her past tardinesses.   Today to my great pleasure she was on time. I felt a great sense of satisfaction until five minutes after class started she got up and left the room for ten minutes.  I never cease to be amazed! I realize I have an overblown sense of the value of my classes.  However, as I reflect on each day’s lectures I wonder just who is teaching whom.

How many times did Jesus go to bed wondering if He was making any headway with His disciples?  When John wanted Jesus to destroy the city of Samaria because they had not welcomed them properly, Jesus must have just shaken His head.  When His disciples wanted Jesus to tell the Canaanite woman to go away without helping her, Jesus must have wondered if it was all in vain. But of course it wasn’t.  They learned.  They grew.   I’m sure He shakes His head at us when we cling to retarded ideas or when we laugh at jokes that put down another race, denomination or class.  Just as Jesus never gave up on His men, He will never give up on us.

Written by Roger Bothwell on October 9, 2000.

Photograph by Tom Hermans.

Spring of Life Ministry, PO Box 124, St. Helena, CA 94574