Am I doing this life right?
How many of us can claim to get tasks done, completely right, the first time they’re attempted? (I see a few readers raising their hands.) Let me make the question a little harder. How many of us can claim to get tasks done, completely right, the first time they’re attempted, having never seen or heard how to accomplish the task? (I don’t see as many hands up in the air this time!) It seems that having an example or model to follow is, in part, key to success in any task or endeavor… or is it? With few exceptions, items we purchase come with a user manual that usually describes in copious detail how to configure and operate what we just purchased. But how many of us actually read those manuals? (What?? No hands?? Hmmmm…) Are you saying you’d rather just brute-force it and figure it out on your own? After all… how hard can it be?
Years ago, I attempted my first brake job on a 1965 Ford Mustang. I had watched my father many times do the same task and thought I would attempt it on my own. Before I started, I recall my Dad saying to me, “remember… do ONE side at a time just in case you get confused!” After taking the front tires off, I said to myself “I can do this MUCH faster if I take all the parts off from both wheels at the same time and start with new parts!” Suffice it to say that my father was right… two days later, with his help, the brake job was complete. But why did I need to go through that? After all, I had a perfectly good example in my Dad of what to do, and yet, I choose to do it my way. What was I thinking?
As an educator, modeling is not all about the teacher doing and the students watching. It is the teacher doing while involving the students in the thinking, the doing and all aspects of the process. Modeling also means a progression of teacher doing less and students doing more. In Mark 1, Jesus comes face to face with John the Baptist (Mark 1:1-8), the baptism and temptation of Christ (Mark 1:9-13), Jesus preaching and calling disciples (Mark 1: 14-22), He casts out demons (Mark 1: 23-28), He heals the sick (Mark 1: 29-39), and He heals a leper (Mark 1: 40-45). In His first public appearance, the perfect lamb models how we should be presented to the Father by Himself being baptized… He leaves nothing to chance. Even when he was in the wilderness, He models how we should behave when faced with trials as He relied on His Father’s care and encouragement (Jer. 15:15-21). I’m trying to re-learn how to approach adversity… seeking Him in all things, no matter the outcome!
Years ago, I had shared some issues I was going through with a friend and said out loud “God doesn’t give us anything we can’t handle.” Over the years, I’ve learned that that statement was a mistake… that God DOES give us more than we can handle, for if He didn’t, would we have a need for Him? Even when He was healing the sick, Jesus was modeling how we should be acting towards those less fortunate than ourselves (Mark 1: 29-39, Acts 6:2). All this to allow us the opportunity to declare war against every sin and follow after holiness all our days (Judges 2: 6-23).
Heavenly Father… help me to Die to Self! I want to live my life with the right priority in my heart… You, others, THEN, myself. I want to lead my family in accordance with your Word so that I can stand before You on that day knowing I followed the right model without having myself get in Your way! Amen!
gstefanelli (Greg Stefanelli)