First days of school traditionally begin with a litany of rules and expectations. “Do this.” “Don’t do that.” “If there’s severe weather, follow me and we’ll hide here.” “If there’s a fire, follow me and we’ll get out.” Students are told, “no matter what unusual situation pops up, look at the teacher, be quiet and do what he or she says immediately.” These type instructions ALWAYS bring on the infamous “what if” questions. The first few questions are usually legitimate, but the savvy time wasters always manage to ask the ridiculous. They get caught up in things that will most likely never happen and fail to realize that every scenario they can conjure up can be handled with, “look at the teacher, be quiet and do what he or she says immediately.” In matters of life and death, acting on their own is not an option.
Now that I think about it, it seems a little hypocritical of me to be so hard on the kids when adults, like me, do the same thing. We get so caught up in things that really don’t matter that we miss the most important things. Jesus told the Pharisees, “You strain a gnat, but swallow a camel.” We get caught up in theological questions and miss the importance of being Jesus to the world and to each other. We want to set the world straight with our religious rules, but we forget we are called to BE holy – not ACT holy. Peter told Jewish Christians (and us) to hold dear to what is most important – the hope we have in the resurrected Christ. He tells us in 1 Peter 1:13-15 how to become holy. “Prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do.”
God has schooled us through His word. His plan is a simple one that everyone can follow, but not everyone is willing. His way is not always easy, but it makes living easier. Maybe it’s time we all stop asking the ridiculous “what if” questions and realize that every scenario we can conjure up can be answered with:
Keep your eyes on the Teacher
be quiet, and
do what God says – immediately!
In matters of life and death, acting on our own is not an option.