A Lesson from My Woodstove
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A Lesson from My Woodstove

If I put all green wood in my wood stove nothing happens.  I can put all kinds of fire starters under them only to come back a bit later to find the fire starter is consumed and the green wood is just sitting there.  I would be tempted to think that wood would never burn.  But if I put one or two pieces of green wood in with seasoned wood not only does the green wood soon catch on fire but the fire lasts longer for when the seasoned wood is gone the now seasoned by association green wood is burning nicely.  The analogy almost writes itself.  Put a group of inexperienced young people on a project and mix in some older seasoned veterans and it isn’t long before those young people are very capable.

When Jesus started His ministry He gathered a mixture of young and mature men to be His disciples.  James and John were teens while Peter and Andrew were mature men with families.  Timothy must have been young because Paul told him not to let anyone despise his youth.  I was twenty-two when I began to pastor five churches in Iowa.  In one of them the youngest person was forty-five.  I learned so much from those midwesterners.  They were very patient.

Now I am on the other end of the timeline and I find myself learning so much from my college students.  If we keep our minds open we can always learn.  I have some very conservative friends and some very liberal friends.  I enjoy fellow-shipping with both of them.  I sometimes think one group doesn’t think much of the other group.  I always learn if I don’t do so much talking and instead just listen.

Written by Roger Bothwell on March 11, 2009.

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